C. Narayanaswamy, Abdul Hafeez Khan quit the party to join Congress

The tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the bypolls to two Lok Sabha constituencies has turned out to be costly for the Janata Dal (Secular) with senior leaders leaving the party on ideological grounds.

While senior party leader and former MP C. Narayanaswamy has resigned from the primary membership of the party, and is set to join the Congress on Thursday, Abdul Hafeez Khan, senior State vice-president of the party, is also joining the Congress.

The former speaker Krishna earlier quit the party after being denied ticket from KR Pet Assembly constituency. The former Maddur MLA, Kalpana Siddaraju, has joined the Congress as she was upset with not getting ticket in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

According to sources in the Janata Dal(S), party State chief H.D. Kumaraswamy tried to persuade Mr. Narayanaswamy to change his mind, but failed.

A senior party leader said that Mr. Narayanaswamy, a long-time associate of party national president H.D. Deve Gowda, was unhappy with the party affairs in the recent days.

He was earlier unceremoniously removed from the post of party State president to make way for Mr. Kumaraswamy.

Denied ticket

After he lost the Lok Sabha polls in 1999, the party refused to take him seriously and denied him ticket in the Assembly elections. It also refused to nominate him to the Legislative Council.

What proved to be the last straw was the party’s decision to have a tie-up with the BJP in the bypolls. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Narayanaswamy said that he was associated with the Janata Dal(S) since the formation of the Janata Party in 1970s.

The tie-up with the BJP, despite Mr. Deve Gowda’s repeated assertion to the contrary, had hurt him deeply, he said. “The party has been mortgaged to the BJP. It is a real tragedy,” he said.

‘No principles’

“The party is being run by a handful of individuals who have no regard for core principles and I am not able to reconcile with the politics of convenience that lacks moral principles,” he said.

“If I had compromised and accepted the offer made by the BJP earlier, I would have become MP from Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency in place of D.B. Chandre Gowda,” he said.

He revealed that the party had “sealed a deal” with the BJP on seat-sharing for the general elections. “The BJP will contest in 17 constituencies and leave 11 seats for the Janata Dal(S),” he said.

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