Karnataka elections: Rahul Gandhi calls JDS B-team of BJP

Bengaluru: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the Janata Dal (Secular), or JDS, has been reduced to acting like the “B-team” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka.

“They (JDS) have decided that no matter what happens, they will ensure the BJP wins,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi’s comments come after all three major political parties—BJP, Congress and the JDS—made it clear that there will be no pre-poll alliances for Karnatka elections due in a couple of months’ time.

Though the BJP and Congress have targeted each other in the run-up to the Karnataka elections, the latter had refrained from targeting the JDS, sparking speculation about a post-poll alliance.

Gandhi’s comments dent any chance of such an alliance if there is a hung assembly. The JDS has often been termed as the “kingmaker” as it has allied with both major parties to form governments in the state.

Gandhi said that despite the alleged arrangement between the BJP and JDS, they will be unable to stop the ruling Congress from bagging a majority in the elections.

Gandhi, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and senior Congress leaders are on a two-day tour of coastal and southern Karnataka as part of the party’s Janashirvada Yatre.

His statements came while the Yatre passed through Hassan district, the stronghold of JDS chief and former Karnataka chief minister Deve Gowda.

Siddaramaiah was part of JDS until he had a fallout with Deve Gowda, whom he considered a mentor. Siddaramaiah left the JDS in 2006 and joined the Congress after being denied a chance to become the chief minister when JDS entered into an alliance with the BJP to form the government. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy became the chief minister in 2006 when the party allied with the BJP.

JDS has an alliance with the BJP in the Upper House of the Karnataka legislature while also having a tie-up with the Congress in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Bengaluru civic body.livemint

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