According to sources, the JD(S) is trying its best to get the BJP leader K Jayaprakash Hegde, former MP of the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru constituency. Jayaprakash, who is believed to be in good terms with the JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy, denied switching sides by saying, “it's too late.”
Bengaluru: Amid rumours of legislators from the Congress and JD(S) being targeted by the BJP for its alleged 'Operation Kamala' to topple the coalition government in Karnataka, sources now say that the JD(S) has initiated talks with a BJP leader offering him a ticket.
According to sources, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had a word with K Jayaprakash Hegde, former MP of the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru constituency to contest from the JD(S) this time for the same Lok Sabha seat.
"The talks were held when the chief minister recently visited Sringeri along with his brother HD Revanna to offer a puja. This development will obviously be denied for the time being," said a source.
However, Hedge denied switching sides and said that his meeting with HD Kumaraswamy was just a courtesy call.
"The last time I met him was in Delhi. It is true that I share a good rapport with HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy, but I am not in a position to shift now as it is very late. I have a good name and want to continue with that." said Hegde.
The JD(S) which once won 16 MP seats from Karnataka, aims at bolstering its position. The party leaders say that although the party has its core strength in Mandya, Hassan and Ramanagara, they will want to further strengthen their standing in the rest of the state.
"We are not limited only to these three districts. We want to field our candidates in favourable segments and will work out a strategy. If that also includes bringing leaders from another party, we will do it as long as they believe in our ideology. In case Jayaprakash Hegde wants to come, we will welcome him with open arms," said Tanveer Ahmed, JD(S) national spokesperson.
Terming the JD(S) efforts to poach the BJP leaders as a dummy stunt, the BJP leader Ashwath Narayana said that the BJP is intact, and no leaders will crossover.
"Going to the JD(S) is nothing but suicide. Forget top leaders, the JD(S) cannot even poach district presidents from the BJP party. The JD(S) is a sinking boat. Why would any BJP leader quit?," questioned Narayana, the BJP spokesperson.
Last Updated 3:03 PM IST