JD(S) holds meeting amid rumblings over BJP tie-up
Several leaders from the regional party, predominantly Muslims, have resigned, while several others are planning to quit, according to Muslims leaders in the party
Bengaluru: After several Muslim leaders of the Janata Dal (Secular) resigned in protest against the party’s decision to join the National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, party supremo HD Deve Gowda and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday held a meeting at their farm house in Bidadi near state capital Bengaluru.
“There is no need to woo a community for votes. Everyone knows about my commitment to Muslims. Last time, when Muslims had issues, I had raised my voice and stood by them,” Kumaraswamy said at a media briefing after the meeting with party MLAs, former MLAs and office bearers. “So, the community members should not listen to any slander.”
Several leaders from the regional party, predominantly Muslims, have resigned, while several others are planning to quit, according to Muslims leaders in the party. JD(S) state president CM Ibrahim on Saturday expressed displeasure that he was not kept in the loop on the tie-up and he would assess his options at a meeting with well-wishers on October 16.
Meetings will be held in all 31 districts of the state in the next one month and all issues will be resolved, Kumaraswamy said on Sunday. “Our candidates will not face any problem regarding tickets due to the alliance,” he said. “I give my assurance regarding this.”
There was no displeasure in the party regarding the alliance, according to Nikhil Kumaraswamy, JD(S) leader and son of Kumaraswamy. “Earlier, the alliance with Congress happened accidentally,” he said. “But the alliance with the BJP is inevitable under the changed circumstances.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and HD Deve Gowda have decided on the alliance,” Nikhil Kumaraswamy said. “It was Modi’s wish that Deve Gowda should be with the BJP and he has treated us respectfully.”
Party members are bound by HD Deve Gowda’s decision, said former minister and JD(S) leader CT Deve Gowda. “We are all bound by the decision taken by Deve Gowda. We will face the next election together,” he told reporters.
Former JD(S) MLA Gauri Shankar concurred with Deve Gowda’s decision as well. “We all agreed with the decision of HD Deve Dowda. We have discussed everything in today’s meeting. We will solve all confusion,” Shankar said. What Deve Gowda says is final for us.”
While the party supremo and Kumaraswamy held a meeting in Bidadi, minority community leaders held a meeting regarding their decision to stay in the JD(S) in Belagavi on Sunday.
Former minister and JD(S) leader NM Nabi, who on September 23 quit the party, expressed his displeasure on Sunday over Kumaraswamy’s statement that he doesn’t believe in Muslim votes. “Any party in the country needs the votes of all communities,” Nabi said. “Political parties can survive only if there are minority Muslim votes.”
“Kumaraswamy’s statement has hurt the Muslim community. He has made such a statement to please the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and BJP leaders,” he added. “Currently, the minorities are suffering from the BJP-JD(S) alliance.”
Meanwhile, hitting out at Kumaraswamy over his statement predicting the collapse of the Congress government in the state, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday described the former as “desperate”.
Kumaraswamy was under the illusion of becoming chief minister once again, expecting a coalition government to come to power with his party’s support after 2023 assembly polls, is now “disillusioned”, and is making such statements, the chief minister said.
“Kumaraswamy is desperate because he was under the illusion that the coalition government will come to power and he will become the chief minister,” Siddaramaiah said. “Now he is disillusioned.”
BS Yediyurappa, former chief minister
“The Muslim community didn’t support the JD(S) earlier as well. If they had supported them, they would not have been confined to just 19 seats. But some Muslim leaders in the JD(S) are moving away from JD(S) after the alliance. This will have no bearing on the JD(S) or the BJP.”