TalhaGulbargavi || DeccanDigest: This afternoon we were greeted with the announcement of JDS BSP Alliance. Since the beginning of election season the JDS has been silently covering the ground and have more effectively understood its strength and weaknesses. The Kumaraswamy led party has been working diligently on those points to become atleast the king maker in the upcoming assembly. Although it gave a target Kumaranna 150, even the newest of analysts knew that it was a improbable task.
While the Congress and BJP have tried it to Make a cong vs BJP fight (Siddu vs Modi) but Kumaraswamy has let it happen. Election wise JDS is weak in few points. The North Karnataka region or Lingayat heartland , which have 116 seats, have very Rare Jds presence, here the JDS is absent except for few leaders who have held their own. Two, the JDS Lacks a Mass Muslim Figure (no JDS Minority leader is an elected One). Three the Vokkaliga dominance in the party meant lesser support in Dalits which are the Biggest voting block in Karnataka.
So in a 5 dimension fight of voting blocks JDS controlled One block of Vokkaligas, and had no impact on the other 4 of Lingayat, Dalits, Muslims and Other Backward classes (including Kuruba, ST’s and rest).
The alliance with BSP might give some breather for JDS in the Dalit vote section. Apart from That out of 14 Districts where BSP is contesting 11 are from North Karnataka, one in Bangalore, one in Old Mysore belt, and one in Coastal. The alliance looks good on paper, as JDS hasn’t lost much and has gained a good ally.
Now, the Lingayat question will always be difficult for JDS to solve given its history. The JDS maybe content with Basavaraj Horatti and other Lingayat leaders who can have District Level impact and can keep the JDS flag waving until the party gets into government somehow.
Dear Congress this is how you Build Alliance! JDS BSP Alliance a pre cursor to SDPI-JDS Alliance?!
Coming to the Muslim issue: Janata Dal has a good history of developing the Muslim leadership. Almost all the Muslim leaders in Congress have been nurtured by JDS. It was a miscalculation by Kumaraswamy added with the Demise of Meraj Patel, drove Muslims away from JDS. recent exit of Zameer Ahmed Khan and others have severely dented JDS. And have left it without any Muslim Face.
JDS leadership under HD DeveGowda (who commands considerable respect in Muslims) is working on two prong strategy to get the Muslim vote on its side. The first is to poach Muslim leaders from congress, the recently nominated MLC CM Ibraheem who is irked by the Congress for not giving him a Ministerial Berth is said to have grown close. It was reported by some sources that he as demanded Minimum of State Presidency if he was to return to JDS. Mysore Minister Tanveer Seth is another One who is said to be ready to Jump the Ship. But his Jump is both initiated and stopped by the next step of SDPI. If SDPI goes solo or allies with JDS then Tanveer Seth will stay put in Congress, if SDPI allies with Congress then Tanveer Seth will jump into JDS, however, as his defeat is imminent and his leadership diminished, JDS would be doing a great disservice to themselves if they admitted him.
The second strategy way is to ally With Muslim parties the JDS was reported to be in talks of alliance with MIM, Asaduddin Owaisi even went on to describe Kumar Swamy the best Leader in Karnataka. But if the list of JDS BSP is seen then it is clear that JDS MIM alliance has broken down. The List features Bidar North, which is where MIM intends to fight the election, and that has been given to BSP (BSP vice President Karnataka zulfeqar Hashmi being the probable candidate).
That leaves JDS with SDPI option, it’s not new, however, as the SDPI and JDS have fought SDPI elections together earlier. And SDPI has fought elections with BSP as well. Apart from that the SDPI holds key to atleast 10-15 seats in Mysore belt, which is why CM Siddaramaiah is said to be very keen on alliance with SDPI as well. The SDPI candidate in Narasimharaja constituency had come second last time with JDS coming third. In an event of SDPI-JDS-BSP alliance, the SDPI would surely open its account, meanwhile in Bangalore Urban seats the SDPI commanded a healthy vote bank and got 4th place. The party also got 4 th position in many Mysore seats. In Sarvagnanagar the SDPI candidates got 30000 votes in bbmp elections, while it garnered another 30 thousand votes in the other seats of BBMP .
Apart from That with the help Of Nationally acclaimed Muslim scholars like Sajjad Nomani Sahab etc, SDPI is very quickly emerging as a National alternative to Muslims. What may be a addition is that SDPI has been able to make steady inroads in Backward class, The Dalit and Christian Votebanks too. unlike other Muslim parties SDPI has been able to attract the Dalit activities to its fold and have fielded them and got good results, in Last election 3 SDPI Dali Candidates gathered good votes and came 3rd , 4th and 5th . With the Help of Popular Front, NCHRO and other Forums, SDPI has been able to rope in many State and National level activists such as CS DwarkaNath, Jignesh Mevani and etc.
Apart from that JDS may not have to sacrifice 20-25 seats as it did to BSP because SDPI has some committed core voters in Some particular seats in Bangalore Urban, Rural, Old Mysore, Hyderabad and Coastal Belts. SarvagnaNagar, PulakeshiNagar, Chickpet,ChamrajaPet, Ramanagaram, Hebbal, Mandya , Gulbarga North , Raichur City, Koppal, Gangavathi and many others. What It may cost JDs is not more than 10 seats . More than half of those in Coastal belt where JDS is weaker than SDPi even. SDPI will be Content with NR assembly in Mysore, 2-3 Seats in Bangalore urban, 3-4 Seats in Coastal belt and 2-3 Seats in North Karnataka.
The Kurubas who constitute 8-9 % have been loyal Siddu supporters but the community may see a triangular fight between Siddu, Eshwarappa and Varthur Prakash. Going the way JDS is working, a alliance between Varthur Prakashs Namma Congress and JDS Cannot be ruled out.
So there it is, the out of the four voting blocks the JDS seems to have worked out a strategy to consolidate the Vokkaliga vote bank, while take chips of Lingayat vote belt, put up a fierce fight for Muslims and Dalit Vote Bank with direct poaching if leaders and outfits like BSP and SDPI, and Namma Congress . These may not be enough for Kumaranna 150, but will get enough votes to make Kumaraswamy King maker once again and save JDS.