Lok Sabha elections: Amit Shah allays alliance concerns, urges BJP-JD(S) unity in Karnataka

The Union home minister, at a coordination meeting in Bengaluru, also pointed out that the alliance's main goal was to defeat Congress.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Apr 02, 2024 | 9:43 PMUpdatedApr 02, 2024 | 9:44 PM

Karnataka BJP JD(S) Amit Shah HD Kumaraswamy 2024 Lok Sabha polls

Incumbent Union Home Minister Amit Shah chanted the unity mantra between the alliance partners BJP and JD(S) for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka on Tuesday, 2 April.

Shah kick-started his day with a breakfast coordination meeting with alliance partners at a private hotel in Bengaluru.

In the meeting, the JD(S) leaders are said to have raised the ongoing differences with their party’s alliance partner in some Lok Sabha seats.

The regional party also presented the ground report of the three seats, in which it is contesting in the parliament elections.

Responding to the concerns of JD(S) leaders, Shah directed the leaders of both parties to constitute a coordination committee at each Assembly and Lok Sabha seat, and called for unity among the alliance partners.

Apart from this, the alliance partners held detailed deliberations on all the Lok Sabha constituencies going for polling in the first phase in Karnataka on 26 April.

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The meeting

BJP and JD(S) are in alliance for the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka.

As a part of the seat-sharing equations, BJP will be contesting in 25 seats, whereas JD(S) will be fighting in three seats.

It was against this backdrop that Shah attended the coordination meeting in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Amit Shah’s coordination meeting on Tuesday, however, seemed to have an inauspicious start.

Though the meeting was scheduled to begin at 8.45 am, it was delayed by three hours as JD(S) state chief and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy turned up late due to political commitments, claimed sources.

In the nearly-hour-long meeting, BJP and JD(S) held detailed deliberations on the 14 constituencies that would be going for the polling on 26 April, and also chalked out strategies to ensure victory in all these seats.

On condition of anonymity, a senior BJP leader told South First: “Shah patiently listened to all the concerns expressed by the alliance-partner leaders in the meeting. They presented ground reports of Mandya, Hassan, and Kolar before the Union minister.”

He added: “The JD(S) leaders also detailed the political situation in the Old Mysore region. Shah asked the leaders of both parties to amalgamate and work towards defeating Congress. He also gave several poll strategy inputs to JD(S). The meeting went smoothly.”

Former chief ministers BS Yediyurappa, Basavaraj Bommai, and DV Sadananda Gowda, as well as Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra and incumbent Union minister Pralhad Joshi were among the leaders who attended the meeting.

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‘Main goal is to defeat Congress’

Stating that Amit Shah listened to all the concerns the JD(S) leaders raised, the regional party’s state core committee president and MLA GT Devegowda said that Shah, after the deliberations, assured them of full support in the elections.

JD(S) leaders, including Kumaraswamy and former ministers SR Mahesh and Bandeppa Kashempur, turned up for the meeting on Tuesday.

After attending the meeting, Devegowda told reporters: “Our leader HD Kumaraswamy spoke about all kinds of problems. Even BY Vijayendra spoke about them.”

He added: “Shah said only one thing, that BJP and JD(S) were like one party in all the 28 seats. The main goal is to defeat Congress.”

The MLA continued: “He also directed the setting up of coordination committees at every Assembly and Lok Sabha constituency. He also stressed on facing the polls with unity.”

On Mandya incumbent Sumalatha Ambareesh extending support to JD(S), he noted: “After Kumaraswamy held talks with Sumalatha, she is not opposed to a JD(S) candidate. She has already stated that she will announce her decision on Wednesday after collecting opinions from her supporters and well-wishers in Mandya. Hence, there are no qualms in Mandya.”

Devegowda also said: “There are no concerning issues any more in Hassan as well. Everyone — including HD Revanna — is campaigning door to door in Hassan. All the issues have been sorted out.”

It may be noted that several JD(S) MLAs and leaders had complained before Kumaraswamy about BJP leaders sidelining and not considering them for the poll-related meetings and events in several seats including Raichur and Kalaburagi.

(Edited by Arkadev Ghoshal)