JD(S)-BSP tie-up a knotty issue for Cong

JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowdas decision to have an electoral alliance with the Mayawati-led BSP and rope in leaders of the erstwhile third front for the campaign may put a spanner in the works of the Congress, which is trying to consolidate Ahinda communities in the coming Assembly elections.

The Congress strategists are worried that the tie-up between the JD(S) and the BSP may split Dalit votes, which are said to traditionally go to the Congress.

BSP leader and Dalit icon Mayawati is likely to address a number of rallies in the state in the run-up to the polls. The first such rally is scheduled in Bengaluru on February 17.

Gowda is planning to get many of his friends from the erstwhile Third Front to campaign in favour of the JD(S). Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference recently took part in the JD(S)-organised minorities rally in Tumakuru. He is also trying to get SPs Mulayam Singh Yadav to campaign for the party, sources in the JD(S) said.

The ruling Congress led by Siddaramaiah has been trying to appease Ahinda communities (Kannada acronym for minorities, Dalits and backward classes), especially Dalits.

Siddaramaiah has given top priority to Ahinda in all five budgets he has presented as chief minister, doling out several freebies.

Though the BSP has not been able to get a strong foothold in the state, it can certainly play a spoilsport as far as the Congress is concerned.

The BSP has been contesting Karnataka Assembly polls since 1994. In 1999, it had won one seat. The partys vote share rose from 1.74% in 2004 to 2.7% in the 2008 elections, though it failed to win any seat in these elections.

Improved performance of the BSP is said to be one of the reasons for the Congress candidates to lose in many seats by a narrow margin in the 2004 and the 2008 polls. The BSP candidates were runner-ups in Hanur and Bidar constituencies. But in 2013 polls, the partys vote share decreased to less than 1%.

Mayawati had not formed an alliance with any party in the last elections.

“It is for the first time Mayawati has joined hands with Gowda for the Assembly polls. The BSP will contest 20 seats as per the seat-sharing pact with the JD(S).

“The coming elections are expected to a close contest between the two national parties – Congress and BJP.

A majority of the opinion polls are predicting a hung Assembly. So, the BSP contesting in 20 seats may impact the Congress electoral prospects,” a senior Congressman said.

JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda’s decision to have an electoral alliance with the Mayawati-led BSP and rope in leaders of the erstwhile third front for the campaign may put a spanner in the works of the Congress, which is trying to consolidate Ahinda communities in the coming Assembly elections.

The Congress strategists are worried that the tie-up between the JD(S) and the BSP may split Dalit votes, which are said to traditionally go to the Congress.

BSP leader and Dalit icon Mayawati is likely to address a number of rallies in the state in the run-up to the polls. The first such rally is scheduled in Bengaluru on February 17.

Gowda is planning to get many of his friends from the erstwhile Third Front to campaign in favour of the JD(S). Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference recently took part in the JD(S)-organised minorities’ rally in Tumakuru. He is also trying to get SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav to campaign for the party, sources in the JD(S) said.

The ruling Congress led by Siddaramaiah has been trying to appease Ahinda communities (Kannada acronym for minorities, Dalits and backward classes), especially Dalits.

Siddaramaiah has given top priority to Ahinda in all five budgets he has presented as chief minister, doling out several freebies.

Though the BSP has not been able to get a strong foothold in the state, it can certainly play a spoilsport as far as the Congress is concerned.

The BSP has been contesting Karnataka Assembly polls since 1994. In 1999, it had won one seat. The party’s vote share rose from 1.74% in 2004 to 2.7% in the 2008 elections, though it failed to win any seat in these elections.

Improved performance of the BSP is said to be one of the reasons for the Congress candidates to lose in many seats by a narrow margin in the 2004 and the 2008 polls. The BSP candidates were runner-ups in Hanur and Bidar constituencies. But in 2013 polls, the party’s vote share decreased to less than 1%.

Mayawati had not formed an alliance with any party in the last elections.

“It is for the first time Mayawati has joined hands with Gowda for the Assembly polls. The BSP will contest 20 seats as per the seat-sharing pact with the JD(S).

“The coming elections are expected to a close contest between the two national parties – Congress and BJP.

A majority of the opinion polls are predicting a hung Assembly. So, the BSP contesting in 20 seats may impact the Congress’ electoral prospects,” a senior Congressman said.

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