JD(S) struggles to keep its flock together

Cash-for-vote allegation comes as latest embarrassment.

Published: 05th June 2016 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2016 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

MYSURU: With a group of its legislators openly supporting the Congress in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, cracks are wide open in the JD(S) and party patriarch H D Deve Gowda and his family are finding it difficult to hold the flock together and stay relevant in state politics.

The Janata Parivar, Janata Dal in particular, is no stranger to rebellions and splits. With dissidents openly challenging the JD(S) leadership, the party is at the crossroads with barely two years to go for the next assembly elections. Lack of internal democracy in the family-controlled party has compounded the matter.

The dissidence reached the boiling point when one-time loyalists Zameer Ahmad, N Chaluvarayaswamy and three others skipped a JDLP meeting convened by party state president H D Kumaraswamy. The party was in for a shock when Zameer Ahmad called on AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh extending support to Congress in the Rajya Sabha polls.

The cash-for-vote sting operation by TV channels is the latest embarrassment for the party. In fact, the dissidence gained momentum after JD(S) failed to do well in local body elections in Hassan, Ramanagaram, Mysuru and Tumakuru which were its strongholds.

Kumaraswamy’s greater focus on shooting his son Nikhil’s movie than revamping the party and boosting the morale of the rank and file has also come under criticism within party circles. Strangely, the leadership of the JD(S), which lost its base in North Karnataka and now is confined to Vokkaliga-dominated Old Mysuru region, has not exhibited any resolve to act against dissidents. This has only demoralised JD(S) workers at large. A section of MLAs in JD(S) has tried to prevail upon Gowda to have an understanding with the BJP or the Congress instead of contesting all the 224 assembly seats.

The JD(S)’s failure to expand its base beyond Old Mysuru and the negative perception the Siddaramaiah government generated have made people look to the BJP. “How many more years should we remain ordinary MLAs and sit in the opposition?” asks a senior JD(S) MLA. An understanding with the BJP or the Congress would benefit JD(S) and a decision should be taken at the earliest, he says.

As the Congress is keen on making Vokkaliga leader D K Shivakumar the next KPCC president, there is feeling that the move could wean away JD(S) MLAs.

The Congress, particularly Gowda’s arch rival Siddaramaiah, feels that the JD(S) will naturally slip into coma if legislators from Old Mysuru get closer to the ruling party.

JD(S) will get destroyed on its own: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday hit back at JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda for suspecting his hand in the sting operation carried out by a TV channel in which some JD(S) MLAs purportedly demanded money to vote in the Rajya Sabha polls. He said, "The JD(S) will get destroyed on its own and I need not do it. I have never tried to break a party or woo legislators of other parties. Those accusing Congress should prove it".


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