Veteran Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party leader D Sadanand Gowda claimed on Thursday that local party leaders were unhappy with the “dictatorial attitude” of the central leadership, The Indian Express reported.

He made the statement amid speculation that several BJP leaders in the state were preparing to join the Congress. On Thursday, former BJP MLA Ramanna S Lamani joined the Congress in Bengaluru.

Gowda on Thursday also alleged that the BJP did not consult state leaders before allying with the Janata Dal (Secular). He made the comments in an interview with Kannada news channel Asianet.

The former Karnataka chief minister also claimed that the Congress was ahead of the BJP in 10 to 15 Lok Sabha constituencies. In the 2019 parliamentary election, the saffron party won 25 out of the 27 seats it contested in the southern state, while the Congress and JD(S) were left with only one seat each.

The BJP announced on September 22 that it had allied with the JD(S) in Karnataka. Home Minister Amit Shah said at the time that his party’s association with the JD(S) would lead Karnataka on the path of development and strengthen the National Democratic Alliance.

However, on October 5, BJP MLA and former state minister ST Somashekar said he was opposed to the alliance, according to The New Indian Express.

“I fought against JD(S) all through my political career... in six Assembly elections,” he said. “Many BJP and JD(S) MLAs are also against the alliance but are not speaking in the open.”