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Home > News > Report

Gowda struggles to prevent JD-S split

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | November 30, 2007 09:53 IST

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Janata Dal - Supremo H D Gowda, who has been keeping a low-profile of late, is gearing up for the state elections.

"I am very much alive to strengthen the party and protect the interest of my party workers," the former prime minister has declared.

Political experts point out that there has been a noticeable change in Gowda's attitude. He is no longer taking things for granted, especially within the party.

Gone are those days when all the party workers used to blindly follow Gowda's orders. In recent times, a number of senior leaders have been threatening to leave the party or break it up, giving sleepless nights to Gowda and family.

The Gowda clan cannot afford a split at this moment, says V S Rajashekhara, a political analyst. However, he points out that Gowda should never be underestimated.

Meanwhile, Gowda's trusted aide M P Prakash and several other party members are threatening to split the party. A year back, when senior leader Siddaramaiah quit the party, Gowda refused to express any signs of regret or reconciliation.

Instead, he grabbed every opportunity to take on Siddaramaiah.

But the tide has turned now. Gowda cannot afford to lose a senior leader like Prakash at such a critical time. Firstly, Prakash is the most prominent representative of the JD-S in the Legislative Assembly. Most JD-S members are relatively young and new entrants in the political arena.

The caste factor too plays a major role in this political charade. Prakash belongs to the influential Lingayat community and letting him go will result in JD-S losing the support of this influential community.

Incidentally, the Lingayat community is already upset with the JD-S for double crossing BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa, who also belongs to the Lingayat community.

The recent executive committee meeting of the JD-S was a poor show with several party workers giving it a miss. Hardly 25 former MLAs from the party turned up at the event.

Right now, keeping his flock together is a bigger challenge for Gowda than strategising for the upcoming elections.