The former Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy has taken on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over its continuing pitch against dynastic politics by pointing out the presence of several dynasts in the state BJP.
In a series of posts on social media addressed to BJP general secretary CT Ravi in the wake of the BJP national executive meeting held in Hyderabad last weekend, in which the ruling party pushed for anti-dynasty politics, Kumaraswamy said that the “BJP is not an exception to dynastic politics”.
BJP is not an exception to the family politics. I have given list of the State BJP. Should I give the India list? More noise, less development is the BJP policy. Not Operation Kamala, the time is not too far when there will be an operation to the BJP’s existence.
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) July 4, 2022
“Yediyurappa & sons, Ravi Subramanya-Tejasvi Surya, Ashoka-Ravi, Somanna-Arun Somanna, Limbavali-Raghu, Vishwanath-Vani Vishwanath, Shettar-Pradeep Shettar, Nirani-Hanumanth Nirani, G.S.Basavaraju-Jyothi Ganesh, Jarkiholi, Katti & Udasi families, what are all these?” the JD(S) leader asked Monday in response to the saffron party’s plans to target dynastic parties in South India now.
“Regional parties are strong in South. BJP is unable to break the stronghold. Through Operation Kamala, you came to power in Karnataka. Your efforts failed in other States. Now you are singing the tune of dynasty free Bharat,” he said.
“BJP is not an exception to family politics. I have a list for the state BJP. Should I give the India list? More noise and less development is the BJP policy,” Kumaraswamy charged.
He also asked whether internal democracy in a party was tantamount to standing in fear before a party leader. “You said that there is no internal democracy in JDS. Ravi, does internal democracy mean to stand trembling & shaking in front of Narendra Modi? Is it to say yes to everything?” he said, while referring to the BJP leader’s recent attack on the JD(S), which is headed by HD Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy’s father and ex-Prime Minister.
In recent weeks Kumaraswamy has been seeking to counter the BJP’s attempts to go after regional parties and labelling them as just “family enterprises”.
In May this year, the JD(S) leader had said that communal politics is a bigger threat to the future of India than dynastic politics in what was a retort to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s warning that dynastic parties would function against the interest of the nation.
“The danger to the nation is not from dynastic political parties, it is posed by communal parties like the BJP. Parties raising emotive issues to grab political ground are the real threat to democracy and pose a threat to constitutional values. I do not think that the honourable Modi is not aware of this,” Kumaraswamy had then said in his social media post.
During a visit to Hyderabad in May, PM Modi had targeted the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) headed by K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Telangana CM, for being a dynastic political party. “Wherever dynasty politics has been wiped out, there has been development and growth. Family politics is a threat to democracy, and as soon as a ‘parivari party’ comes to power, they become corrupt. The family tries to hold on to power for as long as possible,” Modi had then said.
The PM’s attack on the dynastic parties was seen as a move to target several family-driven southern political parties like the ruling TRS in Telangana, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, and the JDS in Karnataka, where certain established political families continue to hold sway over their respective parties – the KCR family in the TRS, the Karunanidhi family in the DMK and the Gowda family in the JD(S).
“The intent of the Prime Minister is to target regional parties under the guise of targeting dynastic politics. Since the fall of the Congress Party regional parties emerged as the main political rivals to the BJP. The BJP may go to any extent to finish off such regional parties,” Kumaraswamy said in a statement on social media over a month ago.
“Who has disrupted the unity in diversity achieved in the country despite the presence of multiple castes, religions, languages, food, and commercial practices? Who started the unconstitutional practice of poaching legislators from other parties under Operation Lotus?” he asked while attacking the BJP.
With the Karnataka Assembly polls slated for May 2023, Kumaraswamy’s recent attempts to keep his guns trained on the BJP reflect a bid to keep the JD(U) equidistant from the ruling party as well as the principal Opposition Congress, while defending his family from the saffron party’s unrelenting assaults on the dynasty issue.
The JD(S)’s electoral prospects depend on the party not being perceived as the “B team” of the national parties. It seems to be aiming to win enough seats in the Karnataka Assembly polls so that it could emerge as the “kingmaker” in the event of a hung House.