Lucknow: Janata Dal (Secular) General Secretary Danish Ali, who until recently was involved in alliance negotiations with the Congress, on Saturday joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

He was welcomed in the party by senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra and is likely to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking on this development, Ali said, “JD(S) does not have a large organizational structure in Uttar Pradesh. Despite all my efforts, I could not have raised it in my janmabhoomi (motherland), my karmabhoomi (terrain of labour)…”

Further elaborating on his decision, Danish Ali said, “The way in which there is a threat to the Constitution today, it is has become essential to use our energy with a strong leadership.”

Danish Ali was not only a JD(S) strongman, but a close aide of former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda.

“I never asked for anything even when I was in JD(S), it was upto Deve Gowda ji to decide what work to assign me. I have come here after taking his permission and blessings… Will work whatever Behenji assigns me,” Ali added.

Danish Ali’s exit from JD(S) is being read as a severe blow to the Congress-JD(S) combine in Karnataka.

Ali is believed to have been instrumental in helping forge the Congress-JD(S) alliance when Karnataka threw a fractured mandate in Assembly elections last year. Not only this, but he also bridged the gap for a seat-sharing alliance between the two parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Congress is contesting 20 seats, whereas JD(S) will contest from eight.

This development comes only hours ahead of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s Uttarakhand rally scheduled for Saturday.  Gandhi will address the ‘Vishal Parivartan Rally,’ a public meeting at Dehradun’s Parade Ground.