Former chief minister and leader of the Janata Dal Secular party in Karnataka H D Kumaraswamy who faces the prospect of several of his top leaders migrating towards the ruling Congress in the state in an effort to protect their respective constituencies, expressed confidence that none of his leaders will jump ship and join the Congress.
At a JDS workers conference here on Monday, amid cries from within his party for his re-appointment as state president of the JDS, Kumaraswamy accused the ruling Congress party chief minister Siddaramaiah of sowing doubts among JDS workers of a possible split in the party.
Rumours of several top leaders of the JDS moving towards the Congress in an effort to protect their own interests while the JDS is out of power in the state has been doing the rounds for over six months with top JDS leaders like Zameer Ahmed and N Cheluvarayaswamy known to have backed Congress candidates even in the parliament polls.
On Monday Kumaraswamy admitted that many of his party leaders were cosying up to the Congress ahead of by polls to three assembly seats in the state scheduled for August 21, but the former chief minister insisted that they had been meeting the Chief Minister “regarding work related to their constituencìes”. “My firm belief is that no one will leave the party,” he said.
“MLAs meeting the Chief Minister for constituency related work is being misrepresented and this is causing confusion among party workers,” Kumaraswamy claimed.
Senior JDS leaders who are among the 40 elected legislators in the state assembly have been striking up private deals with the Congress government in an effort to protect their own turfs. Senior JDS leaders have extended support to the Congress candidates in some constituencies after the JDS took decisions not to field candidates in seats like Shikharipura for lack of money and candidates.
At one point of time rumours had even surfaced of the possibility of Kumaraswamy himself joining the Congress to secure his political future.
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda who is the national president of the JDS had on Sunday at a press conference stated that all JDS leaders who wanted to join the national parties were free to do so. He stated at the JDS workers conference on Monday that he would continue to work to build the regional JDS in Karnataka.