Veteran politician CM Ibrahim vehemently opposed JD(S) supremo and former PM HD Deve Gowda and former CM HD Kumaraswamy's decision to join hands with the BJP for 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
In a significant turn of events within the Janata Dal (Secular), the expulsion of the party’s former Karnataka unit president CM Ibrahim and party national vice-president CK Nanu has set the stage for a political showdown.
JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda announced their expulsion during the national executive committee meeting on Saturday, 9 December, citing their “anti-party activities” as the reason.
Unfazed by the disciplinary action, Ibrahim is now gearing up for a formidable display of strength. He is set to organise the party’s national convention in Bengaluru on Monday, a move that signals a potential face-off with Deve Gowda and his family.
However, though a couple of JD(S) MLAs have openly expressed their dissent over the party’s alliance with the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, they have remained with Deve Gowda and his son, the party’s state president and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.
This development adds a layer of intrigue to the ongoing political dynamics within the JD(S).
Expelling Ibrahim and CK Nanu on Saturday, Deve Gowda said: “The unanimous decision to oust the leaders was crucial for the party’s well-being.”
The resolution for their expulsion was moved by the JD(S)’s Mandya district president D Ramesh and West Bengal unit president Puneeth Kumar Singh. It was unanimously accepted by the executive.
After the party’s national executive meeting, Deve Gowda told PTI: “Today, three significant decisions were made. Firstly, the expulsion of CK Nanu, the vice president of the party, as per our party’s constitution, which prohibits the conduct of parallel meetings when the national president is alive.”
He added: “CM Ibrahim’s attempt to misuse Nanu to preside over the meeting led to this decision. Ibrahim has already been expelled for his anti-party activities. Additionally, it has been decided to conduct organizational elections within the next year, as directed by the Election Commission. In 2024, we are committed to holding these elections.”
The move came just a day after Ibrahim announced plans to convene a national-level meet in Bengaluru on 11 December, setting the stage for a potential showdown within the Deve Gowda faction of the JD(S).
After Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy announced the plan to tie with the BJP for the forthcoming general elections, Ibrahim vehemently opposed it, which resulted in him being removed from the state unit president post, further deepening the internal strife within the cadre.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim continues to insist that he is the party’s Karnataka unit president, and it was in this capacity that, he said, he called for a national-level meeting.
He also asserted that members and leaders from across the country would participate in it.
“We are organising a national-level meeting where we will provide accommodation. State presidents from Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala leaders, Rajasthan, and all over the country are coming here,” Ibrahim told reporters.
The agenda of the convention, according to Ibrahim, was “Stand for Secularism.”
The expelled leader said he aimed to align the party with the INDIA bloc instead of the BJP-led NDA, and claimed to be in contact with like-minded leaders such as the RJD’s Akhilesh Yadav and Nitish Kumar, BRS leader K Chandrashekar Rao, DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Ibrahim also welcomed Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s potential candidacy in the Karnataka Lok Sabha election, expressing his party’s support.
“His grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi and his mother and former AICC chief Sonia Gandhi contested from Karnataka. We not only welcome but also back Rahul Gandhi, if he contests in any of the Lok Sabha seats in the state,” said Ibrahim.
(With PTI inputs)