JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday claimed that both the Congress and the BJP were trying to cosy up to his party, as they may need his party's support in the event of a fractured verdict in the May 10 Assembly elections. He indicated that "middlemen" from both national parties had reached out to him.
Addressing a press conference, the former Chief Minister, however, said he was confident that people would bless his party this time to form an independent government in the state, by giving it a clear majority.
"...there is concern among both the parties, middlemen come from both parties. Why they come one has to understand. It is because the JD(S)' strength is increasing day by day with the blessings of the people," Kumaraswamy said in response to a question on whether leaders of national parties were in touch with him. "It is their ongoing plan. There is competition among both the parties to try to get close to JD(S) and earn its confidence."
Speaking to reporters here, he said, "There is no question of me sitting quietly with a plan to win 65-70 seats and waiting for either of the national parties to approach me to form a coalition government. I am working hard on the ground to form a government with a clear majority."
Kumaraswamy's statement gains significance with respect to the scenarios that might emerge in case of a hung verdict in the Assembly polls if no party got a clear majority, as it happened in 2018.
JD(S) had earlier formed governments in coalition with both the BJP and the Congress respectively for 20 months from January 2006 and for 14 months from May 2018, with Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister.
To a question on whether any middlemen had reached out to him on behalf of the national parties, Kumaraswamy said, "Am I saying for the sake of it...The (local) leaders of national parties speak belittling my party's strength here before the media, then they knock at my door."
"Siddaramaiah (Congress leader) says JD(S) has reached an understanding with BJP, while Chief Minister (Basavaraj Bommi) says JD(S) has an understanding with the Congress. If they had not made such a move (to reach out to JDS), would they utter such things? ...they cannot finish off my party this time. Having got trapped for the past 15 years, I have gone before the people now," he added.
JD(S) has set a target of winning at least 123 of the total 224 seats in the polls, and aims to form an independent government this time.