JD(S) is no chameleon, writes H D Kumaraswamy

JD(S) is no chameleon, writes H D Kumaraswamy

Former Karnataka CM and JD(S) Legislature Party leader H D Kumaraswamy responds to DH's editorial 'A party with no ideological values'

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy. Credit: DH File Photo

I read with concern the editorial “A party with no ideological values,” published in your esteemed daily on December 21. Hence, I am writing this letter to express my views.

Janata Dal (S) is not a “chameleon” party that changes its political colours through opportunistic alliances without ideological basis just for the hunger of power. The party has been fighting to come to power on its own for the last several decades, and this political struggle will continue in the future, too. The national parties have tapped on the doors of the JD(S) whenever they were short of numbers to capture power. This is an indication that the people of Karnataka have blessed the JD(S) with political strength to play a decisive role in state politics.

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Despite this, criticism and blame have often been hurled at the JD(S). The media is also no exception to this. The above editorial in your daily is a fresh instance of such a trend. The media is consciously forgetting to state that the national political parties are using a regional party like the JD(S) as a dice to hold on to the thread of power.

It is very much true that the JD(S) had earlier strongly opposed the Karnataka Land Reforms Act/Bill. There were valid reasons for such opposition. However, we finally gave our consent as our suggestions for preventing the sale of land sanctioned by the government to Dalits and of irrigated lands, besides reducing the ceiling for land purchase from 216 acres to 108 acres, were accepted by the government in the form of an amendment.

There is no question of compromise or sacrificing the party ideology for the sake of political inducements. How right is it to criticise us by saying that we have changed our stance on the issue in opposing the Bill earlier and supporting it later, without understanding that the support was given only after the Bill was modified? The JD(S) would not have changed its stance if the Bill was not modified.

With respect to the anti-cow slaughter Bill, I would like to make it clear that there is no change in our stance of opposing it. In fact, the Bill was not tabled in the Legislative Council because of our opposition.

Which of the national and regional parties have remained committed to a single ideology? In Bihar, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav had entered into a pre-poll alliance which got backing from the people. But Nitish Kumar broke from the alliance and fell into the BJP’s arms.

Congress, which blamed the DMK for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and brought pressure on the then prime minister I K Gujral to drop the DMK members from his ministry, later ruled for 10 years at the Centre by taking the support of DMK members and reciprocating by accommodating the DMK members in the Union ministry.

Such contrasting stands and opportune behaviour of the Congress is known to the entire country. Such instances involving national parties are aplenty in the country’s politics.

JD(S) is the only party with a regional voice that has the strength to publicly adopt a stand or enter into an issue-based political understanding in the interest of the state without resorting to any tacit agreements.

I want to bring it to your kind notice that I don’t see it as correct to ridicule the JD(S) as a party that lacks ideological commitment and principles and a party that practises backdoor politics for the sake of power.