A lot could change in Karnataka, post the May 23 results of the Lok Sabha polls. Sources close to the JD(S) patriarch Devegowda have told Republic Network that a backroom channel of communication has been active between the JD(S) and the BJP in Karnataka.
After the meeting between Union Social Justice Minister and Republican Party of India(A) president Ramdas Athawale with Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on April 15, BL Santhosh of RSS has been in touch with the JDS leaders, with a proposal from the BJP, as per sources.
Former Prime Minister Devegowda is said to be incensed at the Congress for the impediment he faced in his constituency of Tumakuru where the sitting Congress MP SP Muddhanumegowda filed for his nomination against the JDS supremo. After much embarrassment, the Congress leaders managed to persuade Muddhanumegowda to withdraw his nomination but many experts believe that it could possibly have been too late already and the damage was done.
JD(S) reportedly has demanded that HD Kumaraswamy should be allowed to continue as the Chief Minister and the post of deputy chief minister can be accommodated by the BJP, similar to the arrangement they have with the Congress currently.
In addition, the civil aviation portfolio has been asked for by the JD(S), in the scenario that NDA comes back to power at the centre. JD(S) currently has three members of parliament in Lok Sabha from Karnataka and are expected to not cross the tally in the 2019 elections as well.
Devegowda has categorically said that the JD(S)-BJP government, if it actualizes, has to be bereft of BS Yeddyurappa who currently serves as the state president of BJP in Karnataka. In 2006, the two parties had come together to form a coalition in Karnataka but it ended in 2008 on a acrid note, when BS Yeddyurappa was not allowed to serve his term as the chief minister, as per the agreement.
The Congress party has ostensibly given support to JDS to form the government ‘without any conditions, in order to stop BJP from forming the government in Karnataka’. But over the last year, the power tug-of-war has, on occasions become messy and public with the multiple power centres within Karnataka Congress at loggerheads with each other. And this is said to have been the most important factor for the Devegowda family to look for alternate channels to stay in power.