Temporary truce in State JD(S)
The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Thursday tried to assuage the feelings of some of its legislators who were cut up with the Deve Gowda family and made strenuous efforts to retain the party’s position as the principal opposition group in the legislative
Legislator Zameer Ahmed Khan, who was upset with goings-on in the party, seemed to have patched up with State Party unit President H D Kumaraswamy. Khan also attended Thursday’s legislature party meeting, where three decisions were taken, after much effort by MLA N Cheluvarayaswamy,
Gowda and his son heaved a sigh of relief when Khan attended the meeting. However, two other MLAs — H C Balakrishna and Mallikarjun Khuba— kept off the meeting. Balakrishna is on a foreign trip. Khuba is in Delhi.
Thirty-eight of the 40 MLAs attended the meeting. A major complaint against Kumaraswamy is that he had taken many unilateral decisions. However, he had offered to quit not only as the JD(S) state unit president but also as the legislature party leader.
The meeting was presided over by Kumaraswamy. It unanimously resolved to continue Kumaraswamy as the legislature party (LP) leader.
The decision of appointing a new president has been left to the core committee headed by Deve Gowda. The party has also decided that it should not enter into any sort of alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress in the next Lok Sabha elections.
After a four-hour long meeting, M C Nanaiah, MLC, told the media: “We, the legislature party, have decided to continue with Kumaraswamy as the face of our party. While he has asked to be relieved, no matter how much he insists, it is the decision of the representatives that he continue as the leader of the opposition and our party.”
Kumaraswamy said he still believed it would be appropriate for him to step aside and let people from other community represent the JD(S) as its LP leader. “I decided to resign from the two posts to silence our political opponents who have been describing the JD(S) as a ‘father-and-son party.’
However, giving due respect to my fellow colleagues and MLAs, I will consider their decision and speak about my final decision on Friday,” he said.
Kumaraswamy told the meeting that he would not like to save his position by yielding to pressure tactics. The party had performed well when it had just 26 MLAs. So, the spirit of the party would remain same even if “some MLAs want to quit.”
Khan, back from his trip to Umra and Ajmer, shared the dais with his “elder brother” Kumaraswamy at the meeting. While speaking to reporters, he blamed the media for speculating that he would quit the party because of his differences with Kumaraswamy. “Kumaranna and I are brothers. Our brotherhood goes beyond political alignments. I will remain with him as long as I am in politics,” he said.
But the fact remains that Khan did not campaign for the party candidates in the just-concluded Lok Sabha by-elections. He did not attend even the executive committee meeting convened by Gowda on Wednesday. It was said that he was eyeing for a Congress ticket to contest the next Lok Sabha elections.
Khuba, while claiming that he was preoccupied with a house-warming ceremony, said he
was keen on becoming LP chief whip. Asked whether he would quit if the post was not given, he said: “I am not thinking of resigning. But some parties have approached me. I have not taken any decision.”
Sources said he would also abide by the decision of the legislature party meeting.