Staff Correspondent

'JD(S) could lose identity'

Words of protest MLAs cannot take unilateral decision Tie up with BJP will only give short-term gains Workers feel uneasy about latest developments Prefer mid-term elections to tie-up with BJP

CHIKMAGALUR: H.H. Devaraj, secretary general of the district unit of Janata Dal (S), said here on Saturday that the decision taken by the president and the working president of the State unit of the party to align with the BJP in forming a government was ridiculous and had created confusion among leaders and workers of the party.

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Devaraj said the MLAs did not have the right to take an independent decision without consulting the rank and file of the party. He said the party is facing the bleak prospect of losing its identity and its secular ideology.

Pointing out that party workers faced many problems while opposing the Congress and the BJP in the recent elections to zilla and taluk panchayats, he described those who wanted to join hands with the BJP as opportunists seeking short-term gains.

Cadre in dilemma

Reiterating that he will never compromise with communal forces, he said party workers in Chikmagalur district who had opposed the BJP's communal designs on the Bababudangiri issue were facing a dilemma.

Mr. Devaraj said party chief H.D. Deve Gowda had always opposed the BJP and this development was unexpected and painful. Mr. Gowda's political opponents were using this development as a convenient stick to beat him with. He said party workers were not opposed to H.D. Kumaraswamy becoming the Chief Minister but this was not the proper channel.

Appealing to the MLAs that it was better to face mid-term elections than join hands with pro-Hindu forces, he said party leaders in the district will discuss the issue after January 26 and communicate their decision to the party high command.