Siddaramaiah’s appeal to JD(S) members triggers angry reaction



While the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) are involved in a bitter duel over fielding their candidate for election to the fourth Rajya Sabha seat from the State, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah on Thursday wrote an open letter to JD(S) members, requesting them to cast “conscience vote” in favour of the Congress candidate, triggering an angry reaction from JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy.

“The victory of our second candidate, Mansoor Ali Khan, will be the victory of the secular ideology that the Congress and the JD(S) believe in. It is our responsibility to lend our voice to the conscience of the people. The victory of Mr. Khan will be the victory of the secular ideology and not that of any one party,” he said in the letter released to the media on the eve of the election. He said the outcome of the election is being keenly watched by everyone who believes in secular ideology.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “The question of the life and death of secularism is now in the Rajya Sabha polls. Ideologically, the Congress and the JD(S) are on one side and the BJP which breathes communalism is on the other. We fielded the second candidate hoping that the JD(S) will help him win. However, we were shocked that a day after the nomination of Mr. Khan, the JD(S) fielded its candidate despite not having the numbers.” Recalling previous instances, he said, “The Congress supported H.D. Deve Gowda to become the Prime Minister. The party also supported the unanimous election of Mr. Gowda to the Rajya Sabha and despite winning more seats, the Congress supported the JD(S) to form the government in the State.”

Angry retort

Responding to the letter, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the letter seeking JD(S) legislators’ support was “shameless”, and accused Mr. Siddaramaiah of helping the BJP win the third seat also. “How can he write a letter to our legislators after calling us the B team of the BJP? Did the JD(S) suddenly become secular to him now? The Rajya Sabha results will show who is the B team of the BJP. All our legislators are together.” He also said that it was “friendly” parties that made Mr. Gowda the Prime Minister and not the Congress, and it was the JD(S) that had given support to the Congress when late N. Dharam Singh was the Chief Minister.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 4:13:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/siddaramaiahs-appeal-to-jds-members-triggers-angry-reaction/article65511582.ece