The Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S), the Karnataka-headquartered party, has completed at least two rounds of talks with political strategist Prashant Kishor to bring him on board and prepare the regional outfit for the next elections.
The development comes at a time when the JD(S) is embroiled in an internal crisis and is fighting an existential battle in Karnataka’s volatile political climate and against the onslaught of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“We are trying to work it out for the future and he (Kishor) is also interested," said one person directly aware of the developments, requesting not to be named.
The person cited above said that Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil have spoken to Kishor at least once on the phone and are likely to meet him in person very soon.
Kishor was expelled as the vice president of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) earlier this month.
Kishor could not be reached for comment.
Bringing Kishor on board would also indicate that the JD(S) is likely to attempt to shed its regional approach to help retrieve lost ground to its political opposition after its disastrous coalition with the Congress, that ended after a turbulent 14 months in power.
JD(S) has been the hardest hit in recent times as the BJP engineered a crisis within the coalition that led to its collapse in July last year helped B.S.Yediyurappa to return to power as chief minister for a fourth time in the state.
A total of 17 legislators from the Congress and JD(S) resigned allegedly at the behest of the BJP, bringing down the coalition and later joining the saffron outfit. After they were disqualified by the Supreme Court (SC) for anti-party activities, they were fielded in the December bypolls by the BJP and 11 of them were reelected.
The JD(S) was reduced to 34 seats in the legislative assembly but suffered a bigger blow as it allowed the BJP a victory for the first time in the sugarcane growing district of Mandya.
Narayana Gowda won from Krishnarajapete assembly constituency that has paved the way for the BJP to enter the JD(S) bastion and a chance to win over the Vokkaliga community support base.
However, the BJP led by Yediyurappa has also seen its share of uncertainty as factionalism has broken out within the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah-led party.
Several leaders of the BJP, who have lost out cabinet berths, have demanded that Yediyurappa be replaced as the latter would turn 77 on Thursday.
The infighting within the BJP adding to speculation that the incumbent government may not be able to complete its term and that an early election was very much still a possibility.