The Janata Dal (S) politics is rocking the coalition politics of South India, particularly Kerala. Janata Dal (JDS) led by former Prime Minister HD Deva Gowda and his son Kumara Swami decided to officially align with National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The decision was announced by Kumaraswami after a meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Delhi. JP Nadda announced the alliance through social media platform X , “I am happy that JD(S) has decided to be the part of NDA We wholeheartedly welcome them in NDA. This will further strengthen NDA and the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ‘New India Strong India'”.
The political observers anticipate a solid change in the equilibrium of Karnataka politics. In 2023 assembly election United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won 135 seats with 42.88 per cent votes. BJP got 66 seats with 36 per cent votes JD (S) won 19 seats and 13.29 per cent votes. Compared to the previous election BJP lost only 0.35 per cent of popular vote polled .UPA or congress had an upward swing of 4.74 per cent which was reflected in the decline of JDS vote share. Their vote decreased by 5.01 per cent. In the 2018 election the seat positions were as follows. Congress 80 seats (38.14 per cent) BJP 104 seats (36.35 per cent) and JDS 37 seats (18.3 per cent) The decline in the JD(S) seats and votes were capitalised by congress. While JDS joins hands with BJP and becomes the part of NDA it will create a solid base in Karnataka politics. The INDI Alliance coalition is viewing this move with strong apprehension. Even otherwise there is indiscipline and indifference in the Congress. The demand to increase the Deputy Chief Minister posts to four and make Chief Deputy CM DK Sivakumar was a hot discussion not only in Congress but also in the entire political circles. JDS move is a sweet revenge to Siddaramayya who once cheated the Janata cadres and leadership. Even with simple arithmetic’s the congress will be conceded. The decision to join hands with NDA was unanimous and Karnataka leadership JDS welcomed it with full warmth.
But the situation in Kerala is different and JDS leadership is in a soup. The Kerala unit of JDS is a constituent of ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and K Krishnankutty is representing them in the cabinet. They have two MLA’s. Another MLA and former minister Mathew T Thomas is the State president of JDS. Mathew T Thomas said that, “The Kerala JDS will not be a part of NDA. The decision of the Karnataka unit is not ratified by the national executive or national council. The party plenum held in October 2022 in Bengaluru had declared the party’s anti BJP, anti congress stance. That position has not yet been changed by the national council or executive.” The Kerala unit called the meeting of national executive at Kochi on October 7.It is without the permission or approval of national leadership and HD Deve Gowda or Kumaraswami. In this meeting it is understood that the Kerala unit will sever ties with national leadership. And proclaim as an independent unit. In 2006 while Devegowda joined with BJP they took the same stand.
This time JDS Kerala is confronting another serious issue of anti defection rule. If both of them are moving with an independent stance it will not affect. But if they form a new party or join any other party anti defection law will be affected and lose their MLA post. The present assembly has a period of two and a half years ahead. So even if an independent party is formed both the MLA’s can’t join in it. Even the State president himself can’t join the party. At the same time another issue is brewing up. While the cabinet was formed two and half years ago, LDF decided to rotate the ministership among the single MLA party’s. On the basis of this agreement Ahamad Devar Koil will be replaced by Ramachandran Kadannappally and Antony Raju by KB Ganesh Kumar. The Mathew T Thomas faction demands the replacement of K Krishnankutty with Mathew T Thomas. But the K Krishnankutty faction declines it and they say that last time Mathew T Thomas completed the full term. The faction feud is continuing and LJD, the old ruined faction of Janata dal, also demanded for Ministerial berth and it is not entertained by LDF leadership. The JDS leadership is in a fix and stares at the destiny for the future course of action.
Same is the plight of the Tamil Nadu unit. They are in contact with national leadership and most probably joining with NDA. A faction of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) declared severing ties with NDA in Tamil Nadu. Political analysts see it as only a storm in the tea cup. The strong assault by BJP Tamil Nadu State President Annamalai is rocking not only DMK but also the AIADMK. The arrested Minister Senthil Balaji is a culprit in the case at the regime of the last AIADMK Government. The fierce words and deeds of Annamalai are bleeding the AIADMK leaders also. And there were cases and allegations against them also. Annamalai is gaining ground in youths and all walks of life. And now BJP is not a negligible innocent low profile ally. But it has grown to the position of main opposition and even MK Stalin is feeling the heat of the anti corruption fight initiated by Annamalai. And observers view the scope of realignment of parties in Tamil Nadu and return of AIADMK to NDA.