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Gowda-Mayawati Alliance in Karnataka Hits A Roadblock?

The pre-poll alliance with the JDS had upset Karnataka unit of the BSP and some leaders had questioned the rationale behind it.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:April 10, 2018, 6:12 PM IST
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Gowda-Mayawati Alliance in Karnataka Hits A Roadblock?
File photo of JDS chief HD Deve Gowda (Left) and BSP supremo Mayawati.
Bengaluru: The JDS is organising a mammoth public meeting in Gowda's family fiefdom Hassan this evening. The notable absentee would be his main partner in this election BSP supremo Mayawati.

The JDS is mobilising at least 3-4 lakh people to this big event in response to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's last week public meeting in Hassan.

Mayawati's absence has already led to a lot of speculation in political circles in Karnataka. Some political observers feel that Mayawati has gone quiet over Karnataka after the SP-BSP victory in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats in her home state UP.

She had shocked the Congress in Karnataka by declaring that BSP would tie up with JDS in the Assembly elections. It was her first pre-poll tie up in any state since 1996.

An elated JDS tomtommed it as a huge achievement and offered her 20 Assembly seats out of a total 224 seats in the Assembly. A week later Mayawati and JDS supremo and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda addressed a huge joint rally in Bengaluru thundering that together they will end Congress rule in Karnataka.

The Congress had openly called her an agent of the BJP, who joined hands with the Gowdas to eat into Congress votes.

A month later, Gorakhpur and Phulpur happened. And Mayawati stopped talking about Karnataka and Congress.

Some political analysts argue that Mayawati has now realised that denting the prospects of Congress in Karnataka would be wrong on her part and it will actually help the BJP to bounce back. To keep the momentum alive in her home state of UP, she seems to have decided to go for a tactical retreat in Karnataka.

The pre-poll alliance with the JDS had upset Karnataka unit of the BSP and some leaders had questioned the rationale behind it.

A senior leader said "Behenji took the decision without consulting us. We had to keep quiet. Our bigger enemy both in Karnataka and UP is BJP. Not the Congress. We don't trust JDS. They may go with the BJP if the results throw up a hung Assembly".

The JDS is considered an upper caste party of the land owning people and its going with a Dalit party BSP looks incompatible as the two castes view each other with suspicion.

Interestingly, even a month after the seat-sharing agreement was announced, the BSP is yet to come out with its candidates’ list.

Speaking to News18 about Mayawati's absence, Deve Gowda said that she would attend the next meeting and the alliance is intact.

BSP Karnataka unit says that they have no clue about their leader's next move as all the decisions are taken in Lucknow.

Unlike UP, the BSP is not in a position to transfer its votes to alliance partners as it is still an insignificant player in Karnataka politics. There has also been a steady decline of its vote share since 2004.

If the alliance survives it will be a win-win situation for both JDS and BSP.

If it collapses or makes no headways it will be a slight advantage for the ruling Congress.

As is the case in elections, every vote counts.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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