Muslim leaders stay away from JD(S) convention

Muslim leaders stay away from JD(S) convention

At a time when the JD(S) is anxious about its legislators hobnobbing with the ruling Congress, prominent Muslim leaders of the party, Abdul Azeem, Zameer Ahmad Khan and Iqbal Ansari stayed away from a party workers’ meeting on Monday.

The meeting, convened by party chief H D Deve Gowda in the wake of speculations that some party legislators were planning to quit the party, also saw several MLAs abruptly leaving the venue before the address by the former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. All elected representatives, defeated candidates, party heads and office bearers at district and taluk levels were invited to the meeting organised at the Palace Grounds to discuss among others ways to strengthen the party.

The party leaders, however, claimed that almost all of MLAs, who did not attend the meeting, had obtained permission of Gowda and Kumaraswamy as they had prior engagements in their constituencies.

Wooing minorities

Later addressing the party workers, Kumaraswamy tried to appease the minority community. He said the community cannot depend on the Congress government to protect their interests and alleged that the Congress has been using them as vote bank and let down minorities badly over the years.

He, however, criticised Ansari for supporting the decision taken on the KPSC issue. “Iqbal Ansari, our leader, had made a statement supporting the government decision of scrapping the KPSC selected candidates’ list. Perhaps, he does not have the entire facts with him. There are 26 Muslim candidates who were selected by the KPSC. Can our Muslim brothers expect such a large number to be selected the next time around, with this government in power,” Kumaraswamy asked.

The father-son duo reiterated that those who were planning to quit the party were free to do so.

“Those who believed that money is an integral part of the JD(S), are free to leave the party. If need be, I alone will fight on behalf of JD(S) and its principles,” Gowda stated.

Gowda took everyone by surprise when he openly said the JD(S) candidate C S Puttaraju won Mandya parliamentary constituency because of differences between the Congress leaders S M Krishna and M H Ambareesh. He also admitted that the differences between the party leaders has been the prime reason for the JD(S) failing to win more seats in successive elections.

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