JDS leaders have unanimously approved decision on alliance with BJP: HD Kumaraswamy
JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said party has unanimously approved alliance with BJP, aiming to win all 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.
Amid disgruntlement within the JD(S) over joining hands with the BJP in Karnataka, senior leader H D Kumaraswamy said that the party meeting held on Sunday has unanimously given its approval to the leadership's decision on the alliance. The former chief minister today held a meeting with party legislators, former legislators, former ministers, district presidents and leaders at his Bidadi farm house near here, amid fissures becoming apparent in the past few days.
"Today, everyone has openly and unanimously given their approval to the decision on alliance (with the BJP). I want to make it clear to the people of the state that the alliance is being done in the state, and not for the sake of any power or position," Kumaraswamy said after the meeting. Speaking to reporters here, he said, "Let any one criticise our party in any way they want, ultimately time will decide on the response for it. I have decided not to react to any of those criticisms hereon, as there is no need for it."
According to party sources, JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda too spoke to many party leaders, even personally, regarding the need for the alliance. Stating that one of the intentions behind the alliance is to protect the interest of the state, Kumaraswamy said that he wants the alliance to win all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, whereby a permanent solution can be found to problems with several irrigation projects and long standing issues concerning Karnataka.
Responding to a question on the Congress trying to lure the JD(S)'s disgruntled leaders following its alliance with the BJP, he said all leaders and legislators are united with the party and there is no question of anyone going out. "They (Congress) are now knocking the door of some former legislators...let them, I'm not bothered. My aim is to organise and strengthen the party, and to protect the interest of the state," he added.
Earlier, speaking at the meeting, Kumaraswamy also appealed to the Muslim community not to heed to the "false propaganda" of the Congress against his party, following its alliance with the BJP. "Our party's commitment is to protect the interests of the 6.5 crore people of this state. I don't want to appease a community just for the sake of votes. Muslims should understand our commitment for their cause," he said.
The JD(S) leadership on September 22 had announced its decision to ally with the BJP following a meeting between Kumaraswamy and Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national President J P Nadda in New Delhi. However, both parties are yet to decide on the seat sharing arrangement for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Several senior Muslim leaders of the JD(S), including former minister N M Nabi, have decided to resign in protest against the party's decision to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
JD(S) state President C M Ibrahim too has expressed his dissatisfaction over alliance with the BJP, stating that he was not consulted, and that he would decide in the days to come on his future course of action. Ibrahim, a former union minister, who has not been attending party meetings for the last few days, did not take part in today's meeting too. He had joined the JD(S) last year, after quitting the Congress and from the MLC post.
When questioned about Ibrahim, Kumaraswamy merely said, "Let's talk about it later....." H D Deve Gowda last week defending the decision of allying with the the BJP, stating that it was aimed at saving the party, while assuring that he and his political outfit would stick to its secular credentials and never let minorities down. Congress has been attacking the JD(S), questioning its secular credentials following its alliance with the BJP.