- JDS unit in Bengaluru sees cracks.
- One time Congress man has been made minority wing president.
- With over 15 lakh Muslim population in Bengaluru, the split in votes due to difference may mar the JDS chances in election.
Roughly 10 months away from the elections, the cracks in the Bengaluru JDS unit are threatening to spill out on the streets after the party nominated a Congress ‘migrant’ as its minority wing president. Affected by the development several JDS Muslim leaders have now approached HD Deve Gowda.
JDS recently replaced Afzar Pasha as the Minority President and nominated Abdul Basheer - a one time Congress man who worked with congress minister Roshan Baig.
An upset Afsar Pasha who was elected as the Minority wing president three months ago alleged that party leaders from Bengaluru have started lobbying for 'influential' candidates over loyal JDS and grass root workers.
"I joined the party in 1988 and have seen ups and downs of JDS but never defected the party. The city JDS unit has played this dirty game to accommodate Basheer who is a bus transport service owner," Pasha.
"I am sure that our JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda and party president, HD Kumaraswamy are not appraised regarding this game. I will contest my case before them, if there is no response, I will have to end my association with JDS," he said.
Pasha further said that he being an onion and potato mandi merchant might be taken lightly by party leaders in Bengaluru city. “Basheer is a rich person and this aspect may have worked for him. I am humiliated by this sudden decision of removing me from the post,” he rued.
However, leader associated with Basheer camp said that Afsar is not appealing to voters and hence Basheer’s name was pushed before the party leaders for key post. “Basheer is much better person than Afsar Pasha. And he deserves to be at the right place,” said a leader from Basheer camp.Sources in the JDS said, City unit president R Prakash is the decision maker and it is purely his decision to replace.
“Chamrajper MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan joining Congress has already created a vacuum in the party as there is no ‘Muslim’ face in the party. With this unhealthy development of loyal and deserving workers being removed from post will further create an imbalance in the party and it will impact during elections,” said a senior JDS leader.
The leader also expressed concern over JDS fate in the election if this difference is not quelled as there are over 15 lakh Muslim voters in Bengaluru. The lack of unity in JDS will dent its chances in 2018 as voters may switch to another party.However, R Prakash, JDS city president said that he was confident that the decision was for the best and he will be able to keep the party united.
“Bengaluru city also has a good number of Gowda and Muslim votes and to strike the right kind of balance, every deserving leader will be given some key post to make JDS stronger. Afsar is an honest man and we will not let him go. He will be given Vice President of Minority wing,” said Prakash.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:02 PM IST