KARNATAKA

AHINDA leaders divided over Siddaramaiah’s likely pact with BJP

Laiqh A. Khan



There is speculation that Siddaramaiah may float his own outfit

Some AHINDA favour tie-up with secular parties



BANGALORE: The leadership of AHINDA, an umbrella organisation of backward classes, Dalits and minorities, appears to be divided over the possibility of former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah forging an understanding with the BJP after floating his own political outfit.

Speculation is rife in political circles that Mr. Siddaramaiah may sever ties with the Congress and form his own regional party shortly.

While one section of the AHINDA leadership does not seem to have any reservations over the backward classes’ leader identifying himself with the BJP, another section is of the opinion that this would be a setback to their movement that has opposed tooth and nail the BJP’s ideology.

“If Mr. Siddaramaiah enters into a tie-up with the BJP as speculated, the movement could simply melt away, as many AHINDA leaders have campaigned vociferously against the political ideology of the BJP,” said a senior AHINDA leader.

“It will be painful, sorrowful and sad for us if Mr. Siddaramaiah identifies himself with the BJP. We will also be confused as we are all part of one team,” the AHINDA leader said.

Progressive leaders and personalities belonging to the Dalit and minority communities would steer clear of Mr. Siddaramaiah if he chooses to go along with the BJP.

A section of AHINDA leaders are of the view that it would not be a bad idea to align with Telugu film star Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party or other secular parties like Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

But, AHINDA leaders are sore with the Congress for denying Mr. Siddaramaiah his due after the former Deputy Chief Minister merged his All-India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) with the Congress.

“If Mr. Siddaramaiah goes to the BJP, the blame should go squarely to the Congress,” said AHINDA leader and working president of the Karnataka State Backward Castes Federation N.V. Narasimhaiah.

The AHINDA leaders also share Mr. Siddaramaiah’s hurt over the Congress not appointing him either the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly or Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief.

However, AHINDA leader and chairman of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Forum, Karnataka, B.S. Shivanna said that though many AHINDA leaders were personally averse to Mr. Siddaramaiah having truck with the BJP, such a move may become inevitable for political survival.

He also points out that a Dravidian party like the DMK had joined hands with the BJP earlier. Similar was the case of George Fernandes, a socialist, who went along with the BJP and became part of the National Democratic Alliance.