Three years after a dramatic rout by the BJP in Karnataka, the JD(S) has decided to bury the hatchet and form an alliance with the saffron party to facilitate the election of its leader Basavraj Horatti as the chairman of the state Legislative Council. In an interview with Hindustan Times, JD(S) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, however, said the alliance is purely issue-driven in nature with no strings attached and that his party will continue to oppose the government if it introduces bills that are not beneficial for people.
Kumaraswamy said the JD(S) had earlier approached the Congress to give the chairmanship of the legislative council to Horatti, the most senior-most MLA who has won elections for 42 years, but in vain. The same proposal was given to the BJP which agreed to make Horatti the chairman in exchange of JD(S)’s assurance to back its own candidate as the deputy chairman.
“There is no question of any other alliance… We have extended only issue-based support. We will back any government scheme or programme that benefits the people and will oppose anything that harms the state,” he said.
Asked if the alliance helped smoothen the government way in passing the anti-cattle slaughter bill Kumaraswamy, said his party has always opposed the legislation.
“The reasons given by the government cannot be believed. They say that the cost of maintaining one cow in a shelter is ₹17.50. Is it believable? It costs over ₹150-200 per cow per day. The promises made by the BJP that it will build more shelters and make allocations in the budget is a way for them to make money… This bill will have a big impact on the farming community. We will see the reactions coming in from the farming community,” he said adding that now only a new government can repeal the law.
The former chief minister also ruled out any possibility of the JD(S) tying up with the BJP for the local and assembly by-polls and said it will go solo to the elections.
“We also know that Congress is our main rival where we are present and not the BJP. There is no question of an alliance for seats. We will fight on our own. But there are places where the BJP and Congress are in alliance and places where the BJP and JD(S) are in the alliance… Such local alliances have existed based on local equations,” he said.