The JD (S) on Monday suspended senior party leader Surendra Mohan on charges of attempting to fuel a split in the party and revoked the suspension of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and 38 MLAs, saying that truck with the BJP had been done to protect the party’s ideals.
These decisions were taken at the ongoing national executive of the party being held at former Prime Minister and JD (S) chief HD Deve Gowda’s residence. 20 state unit presidents attended it.
The decision to suspend Mohan along with Veerendra Kumar and PGR Schindia from the primary membership of the party were taken after they opposed the party’s decision to align with the BJP. Veerendra Kumar had also campaigned against the JD (S) candidate in, and for the Congress, in the recently held by-election for the assembly seat of Chamundeswari. Congress candidate and former party leader Siddaramaiah won the seat.
Talking to reporters after the executive on Monday, an angry Gowda said the attempts to make Veerendra Kumar the party president was a "tamasha" and a "big joke."
Gowda said: "Veerendra Kumar can not even win municipal seat in Kerala without the support of the Left. Do they (Veerendra Kumar and Mohan) have the powers to dissolve the party or the national executive?"
On the issue of losing the 'secular' tag after aligning with the BJP, Gowda said, "Secular is not the monopoly of Veerendra Kumar or the Congress or the Communists. The present working arrangement with the BJP will not shake the party’s principled stand on issues, including secularism." He added that Karnataka would be governed by the common minimum action plan drawn up by the Karnataka Development Front, comprising JD (S) and the BJP.
Gowda said the decision to revoke the suspension of his son and 38 MLAs were taken after they presented their case to the Disciplinary Action Committee (DAC), set up to look into the reasons for aligning with the BJP without informing the party leadership.
Gowda said the decision was taken after the DAC realised the seriousness of the situation that forced Kumaraswamy to make a pact with BJP. "It was to protect the party from the evil designs of the party’s detractors," the former PM said, adding that the suspended members were humiliated both by Congress and JD (S). Kumaraswamy, who is in the Capital, is expected to attend the second session of the national executive on Tuesday.