Janata Dal (Secular) General Secretary Danish Ali on Saturday quit the party and joined the Bahujan Samaj Party in Lucknow, ANI reported. Ali is likely to be fielded in the Lok Sabha elections from a seat in Uttar Pradesh, according to NDTV.

JD(S) leader and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said Ali had joined the BSP with his and his father HD Deve Gowda’s consent “in a purely political arrangement between the two parties”. He said it was “a thoughtful political decision” made by the two parties to win more seats in the upcoming elections.

Ali was considered close to Deve Gowda, who is the Janata Dal (Secular) chief, and was the party’s face in Delhi. He was instrumental in forging an alliance with the Congress following the Assembly elections in Karnataka last May. He was also involved in seat-sharing negotiations between the two parties for the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

Ali said the Janata Dal (Secular) does not have a large organisational structure in Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most MPs to the Parliament. “Despite all my efforts I could not have raised it [JD(S)] in my janmabhoomi, my karmabhoomi...The way in which there is a threat to Constitution today, it has become essential to use our energy with a strong leadership,” he said.

Ali said he had joined the Bahujan Samaj Party with Deve Gowda’s permission and blessings, according to ANI. “I never asked for anything even when I was in JD(S), it was up to HD Deve Gowda ji to decide what work to assign me,” he said. “I have come here after taking the blessings and permission of Deve Gowda ji. I will work wherever Behen ji [Mayawati] assigns me.”

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra, who welcomed Ali to the party, said Mayawati would decide Ali’s role. “We are very happy that Danish Ali left JD(S) and joined our party today,” Mishra said. “We welcome him wholeheartedly. His addition will definitely strengthen our party’s public base.”