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Do or Die battle for JDS while existence itself proves to be a challenge for Congress

By HindusthanSamachar | Publish Date: Apr 15 2019 4:28PM
Do or Die battle for JDS while existence itself proves to be a challenge for Congress
By Manohar Yadavatti Bengaluru,15 April(HS):The ensuing general elections to the Parliament has given rise to a piquant situation like never before in the state since the ruling Janata Dal Secular(JDS) is literally facing a grave threat of being decimated while the Indian National Congress(INC), another coalition partner is equally at distress facing a vexed problem of identity crisis! Both the JDS and INC have been traditional rivals from several decades before they clinched a deal after 2004 general elections to form a Congress led JDS supported government in the state.Interestingly the grand alliance of sharing power was toppled by none other than HD Kumaraswamy,present Chief Minister to form a JDS-BJP government in order to become the chief minister. Although the new power sharing arrangement came into being with an understanding of enjoying the helms of affairs on a 20:20 months formula, HD Devegowda,national JDS president reportedly threatened his son of consuming poison if at all he handed over the regime to BJP! The senior gowda,as he is popularly revered in party circles had then contended that his secular credentials would be thrown into the wind if such a thing takes place.But during all the 20 months when his son ruled the state with the help of the same ''Communal Party'' his commitment for secularism had remained intact! Interestingly HD Devegowda is dubiously known for befriending and ditching people in public life.The list of close followers turned associates emerging into adversaries and bete noire is endless and there looks to be no indication of it coming to an end in near future. The hitherto sworn enemies emerged into strange bed partners on the eve of the outcome of May 2018 Assembly elections thus leading to a JDS-INC coalition government with the sole intention of keeping the saffron party at a safe distance from the corridors of power. Soon after assuming the office HD Kumaraswamy had publicly declared:The Congress party has extended unconditional support for my party to retain power for the entire five years tenure.However it''s longevity cannot be predicted but one thing is for sure that this government will continue at least till the Lok Sabha elections are over. The ongoing political developments in the state are also hinting about the same situation sooner or later if the writing on the wall is an indication in this regard. Volunteers of both these alliance parties are terrifically upset over the seat sharing arrangements for Lok Sabha elections as has been evinced in all the eight constituencies allotted to the JDS. JDS was left with no option but for returning Bengaluru North and Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies to the Congress for lacking suitable party candidates to contest! Muralidhar Halappa,Man Friday of Dr G Parameshwar,Deputy Chief Minister opined the new development as a challenge to both the parties:SP Muddahanumegowda,sitting Congress MP and KN Rajanna,former Madhugiri Congress MLA have withdrawn from the fray and are working for HD Devegowda. He also stressed at the gravity of the situation in Tumakuru:If the coalition government has to continue Devegowda''s victory is crucial and there''s no way the Congress party can let the opportunity be lost for whatsoever reasons. HD Devegowda is camping in the Tumakuru guest house of Dr G Parameshwar,who also runs a group of educational institutions including medical and engineering colleges. It''s true that the followers of Siddaramaiah belonging to the shepherd community were aghast for ensuring the defeat of their mass leader by the JDS candidate in Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency of Mysuru district.Thanks to Siddaramaiah''s persuasion,they have all agreed to support the JDS candidate,claims Muralidhar Halappa. But local sources at Tumakuru have altogether a different inside story to reveal:GS Basavaraj,BJP candidate and KN Rajanna,former Madhungress MLA have business interests in common while his proximity with Shafi Ahmed,former legislator and prominent Muslim JDS leader is well known in political circles.For being a former Congressman he also has enough supporters and admirers within the Congress as well. While a senior local journalist confided:In a way GS Basavaraj can be attributed as Devegowda of Tumakuru as irrespective of either being in Congress or BJP,for him family interests are of utmost priority.GB Jyothi Ganesh,Tumakuru BJP MLA is his son.He had been a Tumakuru MP multiple times both on INC and BJP tickets. In all the three,Mandya,Tumakuru and Hassan constituencies wherein Devegowda and two grandchildren are in the electoral fray, top leaders of JDS and INC give an public impression of being together and there''s no requirement to mention that such a gesture is more of compulsion and much of reluctance. B Shivaram,former Congress minister and ex Gandasi MLA had been fighting the Devegowda family highhandedness in Hassan district politics way back from 1983.Thanks to his money and muscle power,over a period of time he has evolved himself into a tough opponent to take on the DG family head on politically. But now he with great difficulty is trying to keep self imposed silence on whatever queries you may have to him on his past struggle which is also a major part of Hassan district''s political history.A grim looking B Shivaram appeals with folded hands:No questions on what has transpired so far...Pl wait for elections to be over and I will be free to reply to all your queries.As of now I am a committed party worker adhering to the alliance formula. But the situation for JDS is the worst possible in Mandya as the Congress cadre is openly campaigning for Ms Sumalatha Ambareesh,BJP supported Independent candidate.But for a couple of them most of the leaders abstained away from the JDS-INC coordination meetings. In fact the Congress workers have openly challenged the high command to expel them from the party if it deems it fit do do so.Cheluvarayswamy,former JDS leader and one time confidant of HD Kumaraswamy turned foe has been sharpening the knife since long to scuttle scores with his erstwhile political mentor. PM Narendraswamy,former minister and Malavalli MLA also has remained far away from the electioneering campaign of Nikhil Kumaraswamy,JDS candidate from Mandya. Both these Congress leaders have refused to budge and have openly violated the directions of the party.Dinesh Gundurao,president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee(KPCC) has hinted of recommending expulsion of both these leaders from the party. Mandya Congress committee is a classic case of a divided house.Not just the Congress even the JDS cadre is upset over the selection of the candidate and are colluding with Congressmen to campaign for the Independent candidate. Hindusthan Samachar/Manohar Yadavatti \
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