To shed the image of a regional party, the JD(S) announced it will field candidates outside Karnataka in the coming Lok Sabha polls, even as its agreement with Congress over seat sharing is yet to be finalised. According to reports, the party is eying 10 seats spread over Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and even the north east.
The party’s national general secretary Danish Ali on Wednesday, said, “We had a national presence earlier, but later chose to position ourselves as a regional party owing to the changed political dynamics both in the state and national level. But now we have realised that the time has come to expand our footprint across the country.”
The JD(S) other than being part of the ruling coalition in Karnataka is part of the LDF in Kerala which is running the government. The JD(S) has three MLAs in Kerala, while K Krishnan Kutty is state Minister for Water Resources.
Recently, the JD(S) had roped in former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Gegong Apang to the party.
I welcome Mr Gegong Apang Former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh to JDS family. Mr Apang served as CM for 23 long years. Pics today at Pasighat Guest House @hd_kumaraswamy @ANI @H_D_Devegowda @PTI_News @republic @ndtv @aajtak @TimesNow @the_hindu @TimesNow @UNinIndia pic.twitter.com/XJBVRClS2T— Kunwar Danish Ali (@KDanishAli) February 20, 2019
With this, the party is attempting to project former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda as a potential candidate.
Speaking in Mandya, Kumaraswamy said, “"The atmosphere across the nation is conducive for a Kannadiga to become the PM. If the people vote for the JD(S)-Congress alliance and help it win 20 to 22 seats, a Kannadiga will ascend the PM’s chair. The political situation is similar to what it was in 1996.”
Speaking in January, Ali had suggested that it would be cautious not to divide the “secular vote”. “We are also cautious not to divide secular votes. Our motive is to see that anti-people, anti- weaker sections and anti-democracy goes. We will stitch an alliance against the BJP,” Ali said at the sidelines of the party’s national executive meet on January 29.