‘Delusional fantasy’ says Vijayan of Deve Gowda’s claim that he backed JD(S)-NDA tie-up; misunderstood says ex-PM

Kerala JD(S) leader and Minister K Krishnankutty refuted Gowda's statement and opposed the national leadership's association with BJP.

BySouth First Desk

Published Oct 20, 2023 | 4:30 PMUpdatedOct 20, 2023 | 8:30 PM

BJP JD(S) alliance Kerala

Hitting out at JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s statement he had backed the BJP-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka, Kerala Chief Minister and Marxist leader Pinarayi Vijayan dismissed it as “a delusional fantasy”.

Hours later, Deve Gowda said there was “some confusion” and that he never meant that the CPI(M) in Kerala supported the BJP-JDS alliance.

Vijayan, in a post on X early on Friday, 20 October, said that it was utterly disgraceful for a seasoned politician like Deve Gowda to make such unfounded claims.

“I am absolutely astonished by HD Deve Gowda’s recent statement! The mere notion that I would even entertain the idea of supporting a JDS-BJP alliance is nothing short of a delusional fantasy,” said the chief minister.

Claiming that the CPI(M) has been an “unwavering and unyielding force in the battle against the Sangh Parivar”, Vijayan added: “There is no room for ambiguity in our stance.”

Deve Gowda’s clarification

Meanwhile, Gowda issued a clarification on his statement late on Friday evening, saying that the Left leaders had misunderstood him, and that he never meant the CPI(M) in Kerala supported the BJP-JDS alliance.

“There is some confusion about my statement on the CPM. My Communist friends do not seem to have followed what I said nor the context in which I said. I never said the CPM in Kerala supports the BJP-JDS alliance,” said the former prime minister in a post on X.

“I only said my party unit in Kerala is getting along with the LDF government as things within my party units outside Karnataka remain unresolved after our alliance with the BJP. I wish CPM leaders had chosen their words better or had sought clarification,” he added.

Earlier in the day, latching on Gowda’s statement, the Opposition Congress said it revealed the CPI(M)-BJP nexus, even as the JD(S)’s lone minister in the Pinarayi Cabinet, K Krishnankutty, refuted the former prime minister.

Opposing the national leadership’s association with the BJP, Krishnankutty emphasised the state unit’s commitment to maintaining its alliance with the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala.

Related: JD(S) decision to join NDA could cost it its lone ministry in Kerala

‘Kerala unit of JD(S) stands with LDF’

“I met him (Gowda) along with our state president, Mathew T Thomas, MLA, and informed him about our objection to joining the BJP. The state party unit stands by the earlier decision to stand firm with the Left Front in Kerala,” Krishnankutty, who holds the Electricity portfolio, said.

The Congress alleged that the JD(S) supremo’s revelation had established the dealings between the ruling CPI(M) and the BJP in Kerala.

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said this was further evidenced by Krishnankutty’s continued presence in the Cabinet.

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

The earlier meeting

The JD(S) Kerala unit made its decision clear after a state committee meeting held in Kochi on 7 October, where the party president Thomas underscored that the high command made the announcement to join hands with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) without discussion within any party forum.

Earlier, when contacted, Thomas told South First that the state unit would endorse the decision to join the NDA for the time being, but would decide its future course at the 7 October meeting in Ernakulam.

Thomas felt the Kerala unit has two options: Form a Kerala-based regional party and continue in the LDF, or merge with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), another family-controlled political formation (headed by Lalu Prasad in Bihar), but with strong secular credentials.

The JD(S) in Kerala has the record of merging with Nitish Kumar’s JD (United) and leaving it when the party joined the NDA.

With the Kerala unit of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) joining the RJD on 12 October, political observers are keenly watching developments that may emerge in the Kerala JD(S).

Related: JD(S) K’taka chief Ibrahim rejects pact with BJP, backs INDIA bloc

The claim of Deve Gowda

In the case of Gowda’s party, it was the second time that the state unit decided against the organisation’s stand. It earlier moved out of the party’s framework after it had allied with the BJP and HD Kumaraswamy became the chief minister of Karnataka with the saffron outfit’s support.

On Thursday, Gowda asserted that all state units of the JD(S), including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra, had consented to align with the BJP.

“In Kerala, we are part of the government and our MLA is a minister there. These units understood the situation that made us to go with the BJP and supported our move. Our minister in the Left party’s government (K Krishnankutty) in Kerala has given consent to us,” he said.

“Kerala’s Left government’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has given full concurrence to move forward in Karnataka with the BJP to save the party. This is the position,” Gowda had claimed.

(With PTI inputs)