Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s party JDS has joined the NDA alliance. JDS leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda in Delhi on September 22. He then announced to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
What is the significance of this alliance just before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and just after the Karnataka assembly elections? How important is this alliance for JDS and NDA? Let’s understand…
Who owns where? If we look at Karnataka politics, BJP and JDS are two parties that have their own core voters. While the JDS has a strong presence among the Vokkaliga community, the BJP has a good hold among the Lingayats. These two communities are such that they influence the election results in almost the entire state. If we look at the results of the 2023 assembly elections, it appears that the core voters of the JDS have walked away from it. Compared to 2018, the JDS’s seats in 2023 have reduced by almost 50% from 37 to 19 seats. The party’s vote share also fell from 18.3% to 13.3%.
JDS seats down, core voter down: At the same time, the BJP also suffered losses in the 2023 assembly elections. While the party had 104 seats in 2018, it has reduced to 66 seats in 2023. But the party’s vote share was the same. In 2018, BJP’s vote share was 36.2%, while in 2023 BJP’s vote share will also be 36%. This means JDS lost its seats and its core voters also left. Although the BJP lost seats, it almost succeeded in wooing its core voters.
In the 2023 assembly elections, the Janata Dal suffered the biggest losses in secular South Karnataka, where the party has good penetration. In 2018, JDS had 38 seats in South Karnataka. In 2023, 8 seats were lost and 30 seats remained.
If the outcome of the assembly elections had been different… Now let’s talk about Congress coming to power in Karnataka in 2023. The Congress won 135 seats and the voter turnout was 42.9%. If we combine the vote share of BJP and JDS, it comes to around 50 percent. That is 7 percent more than Congress votes. In other words, if BJP and JDS were together in the assembly elections, the result could have been different.
Who benefits from the alliance? Political experts say the reason for JDS’s alliance with NDA to come closer to BJP lies in the assembly election results. JDS benefited the most from this alliance. Through an alliance with the NDA, the JDS wants to win back its core voters and stay relevant in Karnataka politics.
At the same time, the BJP is hoping that this alliance will help to fend off the Congress. Besides, a positive message will be sent to other southern states as well. We tell you that Congress and JDS contested together in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Despite this, the BJP alone won 25 of the 28 seats.