The Janata Dal (Secular), formed in 1999, had its origins in the Janata Party, founded in 1977
as a coalition of several smaller parties that combined forces to oppose the Indian National
Congress. In 1988 the Janata Party and other smaller parties merged to form the Janata Dal
(JD). In 1996, Janata Dal party reached its pinnacle when H. D. Deve Gowda became
Prime Minister of India, heading the United Front (UF) coalition government.
The Janata Dal split in 1999, when a faction led by Chief Minister J. H. Patel lent support to
National Democratic Alliance leading to the formation of Janata Dal (Secular) under H. D. Deve
Sharad Yadav faction of the Janata Dal, the Lok Shakti and the Samata Party merged as the Janata
Even though the premise for the split was its opposition to allying with the National Democratic
Deve Gowda stayed equally away from the Indian National Congress from the outset.
JD(S) in Karnataka state for a time governed in a coalition with the Indian National Congress
party, the first coalition government in Karnataka. There was much controversy over the JD(S)
the INC in Bangalore as the INC formerly had an outright majority and was diminished to second
BJP having a plurality. However, the JD(S) considered INC to be the lesser of the two evils on
erstwhile secular and center left credentials.
The 2004 elections in Karnataka witnessed the revival of the party's fortunes with JD(S)
of the ruling coalition in the state. Subsequently, party leader H. D. Kumaraswamy headed a
coalition government in the state for 20 months with support from the BJP.
In the 2014 general election, the JD-S gave support to the Social Democratic Party of India in
On 14 April 2015, the JD(S), Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Indian National Lok
Samajwadi Party, and Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) announced that they would merge into a
Janata Parivar alliance in order to oppose the BJP, thus leaving the UPA.