After the collapse of the coalition government, revolt has started within JDS with senior leaders openly voicing disgruntlement against former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. Former senior ministers Basavaraj Horatti and GT Devegowda have reportedly turned against HD Kumaraswamy for what the call is his disdain towards party leaders.
On Monday, a group of rebels from JDS will hold a meeting in a private hotel in Bengaluru to decide their further course of action. Leading the rebellion is MLC Basavaraj Horatti who has been accusing Kumaraswamy of neglecting his duty towards the legislators and party workers. There have been murmurs within the party ranks, for the last two months, that there is nobody in JDS to address their issues.
The exit of three MLAs just before the coalition government fell, had already given rise to accusations of deliberate neglect by the first family of JDS towards strong discontent amongst senior leaders. The then JDS state president, H Vishwanath's split from the party, while overtly attributed by JDS to offers of huge sums of money by BJP, internal showed signs of a deep and dangerous rot. Not just was Vishwanath a senior legislator but was also known within party circles to be a leader who seldom contradicted former Prime Minister HD Devegowda.
Along with Horatti, several other former legislators have claimed that Kumaraswamy showed concern towards leaders only when the party was in power and since the collapse of the government, none of the leaders are given an audience to air their grouses. While Devegowda has been active in rebuilding the strength of the party and preparing for upcoming by-polls, Kumaraswamy who is a key decision-maker in JDS, is no longer accessible and proactive in building the confidence of the party leaders.
While many political analysts have predicted that JDS' fortunes will continue to dwindle over the next five years to the point of threatening its very existence, senior leaders who spoke to Republic anonymously claim claim that the leadership has not shown collective drive to ensure the party, if not grow beyond its traditional strongholds, at least retains the regions it has commanded. While others in JDS seem more disturbed with the loss of Devegowda in the Tumakuru Lok sabha seat, his son and the then Chief Minister seemed obsessed with own son’s loss in Mandya.
On Monday when the peeved leaders will meet, they are expected to discuss what issues they will prioritise in their complaint against Kumaraswamy to Devegowda and also the list of opportunities the party has failed to seize over the last two months due to Kumaraswamy’s complete indifference towards the leaders and the issues they are highlighting.