Discussions regarding BJP and his party contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha polls together are still at initial phase, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said on Saturday, a day after the saffron party veteran B S Yediyurappa stated that both parties have reached an understanding. Maintaining that the seat sharing and other things are yet to be discussed, the former chief minister said more than give and take, trust and respect is important for him.
“These are initial phases of discussions. I have seen reports in the media on this (understanding) for the last couple of days…I have seen senior leader Yediyurappa’s statement. He has spoken good about our party, Deve Gowda (JDS supremo) and me. Thank him for his statement that in the days to come we will work together,” Kumaraswamy said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the seat sharing and other things have not been discussed yet, and also date has not been fixed for his Delhi visit.
“There are reports in the media that — we are adamant on the Mandya seat, what will happen to the sitting MP there, what will happen to Tuamkuru and Kolar seats — all these have not yet been discussed. I appeal to media friends not to speculate as they want, when the discussions are still at the initial phase,” Kumaraswamy said.
Media is projecting as though understanding has been finalised, he further said. “But in my opinion there is still time for it, still a lot of discussions are yet to happen. It is not give and take that is important, trust and respect is important for me.”
A meeting of party workers has been called on Sunday, where their opinion will be gathered, he said, adding that “time to respond to all these issues — preliminary discussions regarding alliance, Congress leaders’ statements — is still far.” Yediyurappa on Friday said the BJP will have an understanding with former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, an announcement that shot up political temperature in the State.
The veteran leader, who is also the BJP parliamentary board member, had said that as part of the poll understanding, the JD(S) will contest in four LS seats in Karnataka, which has a total of 28 constituencies. Asked whether Deve Gowda has agreed for alliance, Kumaraswamy said all these are preliminary phases of discussions and whether the party supremo has agreed or not will be known in the days to come.
To a question whether this is a promising development, he said, “In the interest of the state, at a time when such a bad government is there in the state, certain decisions need to be made. It requires time, let’s wait for it. I’m not in a hurry. ” The BJP had swept the 2019 LS polls in Karnataka by winning 25 seats, while an independent (Sumalatha Ambareesh from Mandya) backed by it won in one seat.
The Congress and JD(S) won one seat each.
JD(S) had contested the polls in alliance with the Congress, as both parties were then running an alliance government under Kumaraswamy’s Chief Ministership. Noting that Congress administration in Karnataka is already facing anti-incumbency, after over three months, since coming to power, the former chief minister said, he was not saying it and it is the opinion of senior officials in this government.
“So there is a feeling among people that it (understanding between BJP and JDS) is good,” he said. Stating that no one is indispensable to anyone, either for him or for the BJP, Kumaraswamy further said the JD(S) had already contested parliamentary polls independently several times and won two or three seats. Now, after Congress getting 135 seats and JD(S) 19 seats in Assembly polls, the grand old party leaders are projecting as though something has happened to JD(S) and are questioning its survival, he said. “I will speak about it in the days to come…now I request Congress leaders you are in power, people have blessed you, do good work, instead of commenting on our party,” he said.
Congress has been critical of JD(S) over the development, he added. Taking a dig at JD(S) for entering into an understanding with the BJP for 2024 LS polls, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, while questioning the regional party’s secular credentials, alleged that it doesn’t have any ideology and would do anything for the sake of power. The JD(S) had earlier formed governments in coalition with both BJP and Congress for 20 months from January 2006, and for 14 months from May 2018, with Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister.