Used to Worship Deve Gowda like God, Says Disqualified JD(S) MLA Warning of Further Exodus
Narayana Gowda, who was among the three JD(S) lawmakers to have fled to Mumbai after submitting their resignations to the then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, said 20 more MLAs would soon resign from the party.
File photo of JD(S) president HD Devegowda.
Bengaluru: As signs of dissent and rebellion continued to haunt the Janata Dal Secular (JDS), a disqualified MLA who was part of the team that had quit the coalition government leading to its fall over a month ago, has claimed that 20 more party lawmakers were on the brink of resigning.
Narayana Gowda, who was among the three JD(S) MLAs to have fled to Mumbai after submitting their resignations to the then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, said he had been treated like cattle by HD Revanna, MLA and brother of former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. Narayana Gowda, along with the other rebel lawmakers, was disqualified under the anti-defection law by the Speaker.
Revanna on Friday said, “Had Kumaraswamy listened to (JDS patriarch and their father) Deve Gowda and not allotted seat to Narayana Gowda, the former may not have faced the rebellion that brought down his government.”
A day later, Narayan Gowda hit back at Revanna and the Gowda family.
“Revanna treated me like cattle. Twenty more JD(S) lawmakers will be resigning in the coming days. Revanna is the reason behind the coalition’s collapse. His attitude towards fellow party leaders is to be blamed for this situation,” he said.
Narayan Gowda didn't even spare former PM Deve Gowda. “Can’t you (Deve Gowda) control your children? Aren’t you ashamed of their behaviour? Come out of (this) family obsession and start loving the country. Kumaraswamy bluffed around all the time and that is the reason behind the party’s current situation. He wouldn’t even allow us inside his office when he was a chief minister. Nikhil Kumaraswamy lost the elections because of the series of lies spread by his father,” said the lawmaker.
This is the first time that the Gowda family is being openly targeted by both former and current party functionaries. The dynasty is deeply rooted in Karnataka politics and the JD(S) has always been controlled by family members. Until recently, the senior Gowda had complete sway over his party cadres.
Narayana Gowda said, “I had worshipped Deve Gowda like god. Even today, I have immense respect for him. Everyone knows how Revanna behaves with party members. I do not need to explain it because even Deve Gowda is aware of it. Earlier, I used to consider the entire Gowda family as divine. They should understand this.”
Narayan Gowda also slammed the JD(S) patriarch for prioritising his family members over loyal party soldiers and ignoring capable leaders while appointing the chief minister. “Why did he always prefer to give power to his children? Aren’t there any other capable leaders? I advise him not to listen to Revanna for each and every thing.”
Earlier this week, senior party leader GT Deve Gowda and lawmaker SR Srinivas also took potshots at the Gowda family, particularly targeting Kumaraswamy. Srinivas even went so far as to say that there was nothing wrong in the former chief minister being jailed for alleged telephone interception.
Srinivas, who represents the Gubbi constituency, had said, “If Kumaraswamy was involved in phone tapping or involved in earning money through corruption, let him get arrested. There is nothing wrong in that... Is there a rule not to arrest Kumaraswamy? According to my information, telephone conversations were illegally intercepted during his tenure. My phone was also one among those that were tapped. Kumaraswamy might have suspected me too. Whoever has committed a mistake has to be punished mercilessly.”
Srinivas also hit out at Kumaraswamy for not attending the protest rally organised here on Wednesday by several Vokkaliga outfits against the arrest of senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar. Kumaraswamy, who also hails from the community, was conspicuous by his absence at the protest that was largely seen as a show of strength of the community, dominant in old Mysuru or southern Karnataka region.
A day before, GT Deve Gowda, a former minister who has been maintaining visible distance from the JD(S) first family, had said, “I am really upset the way Kumaraswamy and MLA Sa Ra Mahesh treated me. That is the reason why I am staying away from the party.”
However, he shot down any speculation of him crossing over to the BJP. “At present, I don’t have any plans of joining the BJP. But I am upset with my party leaders and I have expressed this many times. It doesn’t mean that I am joining the BJP,” he said, adding a note of caution, “But in politics, anything can happen at any time.”
Narayana Gowda, AH Vishwanath and K Gopalaiah were the three JD(S) lawmakers who had quit the party, leading to the collapse of the coalition government in the state. Karnataka’s only existing regional party now has 34 lawmakers in the Assembly. It is likely to lose a few more lawmakers if the rebellion in the ranks is not doused at the earliest.
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