Deve Gowda removes JD(S) Karnataka chief CM Ibrahim amid his revolt over tie-up with BJP

New Delhi: Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda removed party leader C.M. Ibrahim from the post of state president Thursday, days after he rebelled against the leadership for stitching an alliance with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2024 general elections.

The former Prime Minister also dissolved the state working committee and appointed his son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy as ad-hoc state president of the party.

Earlier this week, Ibrahim had said the JD(S) would not join the BJP and asserted he could take that decision about the outfit in Karnataka as state president. He also claimed his faction was the original JD(S) as it was still “secular”. He appealed to party boss Deve Gowda not to tie up with the BJP.

As murmurs of a potential split grew louder, H.D. Kumaraswamy refused to take any questions on Ibrahim Wednesday, saying Ibrahim was free to do what he wanted.

“If his (Ibrahim’s) party is original then let him put up a board that he is the original one. Who has stopped him? Let him do whatever he wants. He is free to do it. It is left to him,” Kumaraswamy said.

The JD(S) formally joined the NDA on 22 September, in what was seen as an attempt to boost its waning political fortune in the state.

In 2019, the JD(S) had contested the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Congress, as both parties were then in a coalition government under the Chief Ministership of Kumaraswamy.

The BJP, however, swept the 2019 parliamentary elections in Karnataka, winning 25 seats, while an Independent ally won one. The Congress and JD(S) won one seat each.

In the 2023 state elections, however, the Congress trounced both parties by bagging 135 seats. The BJP got 66 and the JD(S) 19.

This is the second time the JD(S) has become an ally of the BJP. In 2006, it had formed the state government with the BJP for 20 months – also under the chief ministership of Kumaraswamy.

At that time, however, patriarch Deve Gowda did not approve of his son’s decision to join what he called a communal outfit. This time around, the talks with the BJP had Deve Gowda’s blessings.

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