Another JD(S) MLC may quit party, likely to join BJP next year

Sandesh Nagaraj, the JD(S) legislative council member, on Friday said that there was no “doubt” that he wanted to join the BJP
Sandesh Nagaraj, the JD(S) MLC, on Friday said there was no ’doubt’ that he wanted to join the BJP. (Archive)
Sandesh Nagaraj, the JD(S) MLC, on Friday said there was no ’doubt’ that he wanted to join the BJP. (Archive)
Published on Oct 02, 2021 02:08 AM IST
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Bengaluru The Janata Dal (Secular) suffered a fresh blow on Friday as another serving legislator from the party expressed his intent to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next year.

Sandesh Nagaraj, the JD(S) legislative council member, on Friday said that there was no “doubt” that he wanted to join the BJP.

“I was not in contact with JD(S) for the last one and half years and will remain their legislator till January 5, 2022. No doubt about it,” Nagaraj said on Friday. Nagaraj’s term in the upper house of the state legislature ends on January 5 next year.

The statements come days after Srinivas Gowda, the sitting MLA from Kolar decided to part ways with the JD(S) on September 21 and is expected to join the Congress.

Srinivas Gowda on Friday said that he was “neglected” by the party because of the “father and sons”.

At least two other legislators have also hinted at the possibility of departing from the JD(S), which its detractors and members have often attributed to the family-centric style of politics.

“We have a factory that produces political leaders. Like vision 123, from 1983 we have continued to produce them, they take training from us and after completion they go wherever they get a higher salary,” HD Revanna, Deve Gowda’s son and senior JD(S) leader said on Friday.

He, however, said that he will not like to comment on Srinivas Gowda or his comments.

JD(S) had lost power in 2019 after three of its legislators and 14 others from the Congress, its alliance partner, defected to the BJP after the Lok Sabha elections that helped reinstate BS Yediyurappa to a fourth-term as chief minister.

The simmering dissent within the JD(S) started to boil over since its alliance with the Congress in 2018 to keep the BJP out of power. The cadre of the JD(S) and Congress have fought bitter and bloody battles in the Old Mysuru region and were willing to move towards the BJP when the two decided to fight out the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together.

This was further compounded when former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy imposed the candidature of his actor son, Nikhil, from Mandya over several other aspirants in which the JD(S) lost by a huge margin against a BJP-backed independent, Sumalatha. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda too lost in the 2019 assembly elections after he decided to give his Hassan seat to his other grandson, Prajwal Revanna, and decided to contest from Tumakuru, in which he lost to a relatively unknown BJP candidate. The BJP won an unprecedented 25 out of the 28 parliamentary seats in Karnataka, reducing the JD(S) and Congress to just one each.

The BJP and Congress are both gaining from the dissent within the JD(S) that draws its strength from the Old Mysuru region in Karnataka, where the dominant Vokkaliga community continues to back the regional outfit.

The developments come barely a month before the two bypolls--Hanagal and Sindgi--on October 30 and the soon-to-be held Zilla and Taluk Panchayat elections that would serve as a good indicator for the 2023 assembly elections.

The BJP is looking to make inroads into the old Mysuru region to help the saffron outfit return to power on its own in the 2023 assembly elections.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021