The Janata Dal (Secular) on Friday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
BJP president JP Nadda made the announcement after meeting former Karnataka chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy in Delhi. Home Minister Amit Shah and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant were also present.
“I am happy that JD(S) has decided to be the part of National Democratic Alliance,” Nadda wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We wholeheartedly welcome them in the NDA. This will further strengthen NDA and the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ‘New India, Strong India’.”
Amit Shah said that BJP’s association with the JD(S) will lead Karnataka on the path of development and pave the way for a stronger NDA and a stronger India.
Kumaraswamy said he has discussed preliminary issues formally with the BJP. “There is no demand [from our side],” he said, according to ANI.
On September 8, Karnataka BJP leader BS Yediyurappa had claimed that his party and the JD(S) have arrived at an understanding on four Lok Sabha seats in the state.
However, Kumaraswamy had denied any such arrangement on the next day. He had said Yediyurappa’s remarks about the seat sharing were personal.
The former Karnataka chief minister had said that people needed to come together as the Congress was “looting” the state.
“People need alternatives,” he had told ANI. “...I [had] joined hands with the BJP in 2006. My goodwill was created because of my 20 months of administration.”
The JD(S) had entered into an alliance with the Congress after voting took place for the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. The BJP had emerged as the single-largest party in the polls, but HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) took oath as the chief minister with the support of the Congress.
However, the government collapsed in July 2019 after several MLAs from the two parties switched over to the BJP. Eventually, the coalition lost the trust vote in the state Assembly, following which the BJP formed the government with Yediyurappa as the chief minister.
However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had won 25 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. The Congress and JD(S), who were in an alliance at the time, had won one seat each. Independent candidate Sumalatha had won the Mandya constituency.