Senior JD(S) leader and ex-Karnataka state chief CM Ibrahim suspended for anti-party activities

Deve Gowda replaced Ibrahim as the party state president on 19 October and appointed his son HD Kumaraswamy in his place.

BySouth First Desk

Published Nov 18, 2023 | 1:50 PMUpdatedNov 18, 2023 | 1:50 PM

CM Ibrahim with JD (S) party leaders

Just two days after he presided over a meeting of JD(S) dissidents in Kovalam in Kerala, senior party leader and former president of the Karnataka unit CM Ibrahim has been suspended by the outfit’s president HD Deve Gowda for “anti-party activities”.

Gowda had replaced Ibrahim as the party state president on 19 October and appointed his son and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in his place after he had expressed opposition to the party’s decision to align with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The Kovalam meeting on 15 November, was organised by the party’s national vice president and former Kerala minister CK Nanu, was reportedly attended by leaders from 11 states.

The meeting formally rejected Gowda’s decision to join the BJP-led coalition and denounced efforts to turn the party into a family business.

In October, Gowda had dissolved the State Working Committee and appointed his son as the ad hoc president of the party’s Karnataka unit.

On 22 September, the JD(S) had announced that the BJP and the the JD(S) would jointly take on the Congress in Karnataka.

Related: Deve Gowda ousts CM Ibrahim for dissent against BJP alliance

Ibrahim’s opposition to alliance with BJP

Ibrahim, who publicly announced his opposition to the JD(S)’s alliance with the BJP, has claimed that his faction is the original JD(S) and that being the state president he can take a decision about the outfit in Karnataka.

Opposing Deve Gowda’s decision to join the NDA, Ibrahim had convened a meeting of “like-minded” members on 16 October, proclaiming his leadership and forming a core committee to oppose the JD(S)-BJP alliance.

“Our primary resolution is that JD(S) will not align with the NDA. The second decision is to urge Deve Gowda not to endorse the alliance,” he had said after the meeting.

This presented a challenge to the party’s unity, with Ibrahim also announcing support for the Opposition’s INDIA bloc.

Following these developments, Kumaraswamy expressed anguish at Ibrahim taking a rebellious stand against the party high command’s decision to support the BJP-led NDA for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Ibrahim had appealed to Deve Gowda to reconsider the decision on the tie-up with the BJP, claiming that many party leaders have quit the outfit in the neighbouring states following the move.

Ibrahim, a former Union minister, also pointed at leaders in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra leaving the party after the JD(S)’s pact with the BJP.

Related: HDK dismisses rebellion, challenges Ibrahim’s ‘original’ declaration

The 15 November meeting

The 15 November meeting in Kovalam decided to convene a national plenary session in Bengaluru on 9 December.

While the presidents of 11 state units of the JD(S) attended the meeting in person, four participated virtually, Nanu said.

He said the plenary meeting on 9 December would formally reject Gowda’s plan to join the NDA. Gowda would also face the consequences for acting unilaterally, Nanu said. He said it was imperative to safeguard the party’s “secular” character and vision.

Asked why Kerala leaders of the party, especially its two MLAs — Mathew T Thomas and Krishnankutty — stayed away from the meeting, Nanu said it was the party’s national leadership meeting, and it turned out to be a gathering of leaders opposed to Gowda’s decision to join the NDA.

He said he preferred not to respond to leaders like Thomas and Krishnankutty boycotting the meeting.

However, Nanu stated that the Kerala unit would be requested to attend the plenary in Bengaluru, and it would have to adhere to that directive.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim stated that the party would take action against the two MLAs — Mathew T Thomas and Krishnankutty — if they failed to attend the plenary session.

(With PTI inputs)