Sigh, The End is nigh for the Janata Dal (Secular)

MATHIHALLI MADAN MOHAN writes from Hubli: After riding the crest of a wave over the past 40 months, by hook and by crook, the writing is on the wall for H.D. Deve Gowda. With the State headed for fresh polls, a year earlier than expected, it is the end of the political road for the Janata Dal (Secular).

Too clever by half, the party has burnt its bridges with the BJP, squandered its recently acquired goodwill among the people, spoiled its long-term prospects in the quest for short-term gains, and has been hoist with its own petard not once but twice in the space of two months by a wily Congress.

That all this has happened while Gowda was sitting pretty, exulting in his role as a master strategician, having manipulated matters deftly to ensure a large slice of the political cake than to which his party was entitled commensurate with its strength in the 224-member assembly, is sweet irony.

On two occasions, first through M.P. Prakash and now through the party supremo himself, the Congress led Gowda down the rose garden, dangling the carrot of a fresh alliance to thwart the BJP from forming a government south of the Vindhyas at a time when party is prepared to take on the might of Narendra Modi in Gujarat next month.

And on both occasions, the Congress coolly reneged, landing Gowda, his party men, and the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy with a bagful of problems, the most important being the problem of survival.

As it is, the JDS has only a sub-regional presence. In the Northern Karnataka districts, it has absolutely no base and Kumaraswamy’s rule hardly made any dent. And whatever little headway was made in terms of public visibility, has been botched up, first by the reluctance to pass on the baton to the BJP, and then by the refusal to endorse it.

A BJP-led coalition would have assuaged the feelings of hurt simmering in Northern Karnataka since the JDS’s phalanx of support in the assembly essentially comes from this region. The party legislators are nursing a feeling of being used and thrown, and most are apprehensive of facing the voter again.

This apart, with all other known leaders outside the Gowda clan having been drummed out of the party under one or the other pretext, the party leadership has become a privy of the Gowda family. Kumaraswamy, who had gained some acceptability, now has a tainted image as the one who cannot be trusted.

That leaves only Gowda and his other son in politics, H.D. Revanna. Age is taking toll of Gowda and Revanna has no public image. The party has no plank, political or otherwise, to face the people in the hustings. The future for the party appears quite dark, indeed, and this is what is worrying the rank and file, and perhaps Gowda, too.

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10 Responses to “Sigh, The End is nigh for the Janata Dal (Secular)”

  1. King of Hill Says:

    [quote]Too clever by half, the party has burnt its bridges with the BJP, squandered its recently acquired goodwill among the people, spoiled its long-term prospects in the quest for short-term gains, and has been hoist with its own petard not once but twice in the space of two months by a wily Congress.

    The good will among people is the same as before, the writing of a few qould not change their backers or their enemies. The writer or the tribe were no friends of JD(S) before or now.

    So stop BS.

  2. dr ramesh Says:

    postulate in politics—-do not underestimate any party.
    writing off a shrewd,thinking ,wily old politician who has seen it all is a bit NAIVE AND PREMATURE. time and again devegowda has risen from hopeless situations defying all odds stacked against him.
    20–30 seats ,he will be the kingmaker having the last laugh.
    urban people are adrift from ground situation in rural areas,KUMARASWAMY in his tenure has performed very well and voters always reward good work. bjp have peaked in the last elections and their tally will be reduced to half .

  3. Alok Says:

    Actually, Gowda doesn’t lose anything by going to elections.

    All he needs is for the BJP and the Congress to do well enough so that neither have the chance of forming a government alone, and will crawl back to him, no matter how few MLAs he has on his side.

    OTOH, a really good performance by the Congress or BJP alone will doom Gowda and family as they will be virtually off the map in five years. Not to mention the couple of million axes the BJP or the Congress will have to grind with a defenceless Gowda and family.

    In my opinion, scenario one seems more likely since neither COngress nor BJP have covered themselves with much glory in their tenure. I don’t see a massive sympathy wave for the BJP, or even a big anti-incumbency wave against them, that will lead to a definite majority for either the BJP or the Congress respectively.

  4. prasad Says:

    Not in Karnataka. They belive blindly in Gowda and family. KS has plans of starting a new party with his father’s blessings and Karnataka will vote them back to be a player in the coalition again.
    “—– ” can only save Karnataka! Where are the Intalects? Can they reach the rural voters? Like Tamilnadu TV and Computers will be available for distribution at tax payers blood.

  5. mgr Says:

    gowda is not bothered about anything else other than holding on to power he wants it all power money at his age 74 what will be able take to his grave karnataka people are to be equally blamed for voting such corrupt people to power and giving no clear majority to any party leaders are reflection of people of the state Tamilnadu people are better and wiser in that way, it is either karu or jaya

  6. Balaji Says:

    Although, the death of JDS will be the best thing that can happen to Karnataka in a long while, the state does need a regional party. It would have been better if Kumaraswamy had become the Nitish/Naveen/Jaya/Naidu of Karnataka. He has the street smartness of these leaders. But alas his demented father and jealous brother are out to destroy him.

    But Karanataka under the sway of national parties will be a disaster. Most Kannadiga politicians are bereft of image or ambition at the national level that, Karnataka will simply cease to exist in the investment programs of the central government. Why is that Karnataka has no minister worth his/her salt even in a Congress led government at the center?

    JDS renaming itself as ‘Kannada Vedike’ or something under the leadership of Kumaraswamy is not a bad idea.

  7. NS Rao Says:

    Who said that Ravana – oops!!! Revanna has no image. I can only think of Revoo ism (both hands busy rubbing – with one hand rubbing inside the nose and other on the anatomy just below the navel from outside!)

  8. nilesh Says:

    Nothing can be ruled out, if say there is a fresh poll and Devegowda were to have an massive attack or death itself, will not the south karnataka people vote enmass for the party.

  9. Doddi Buddi Says:


    If such a happy event occurs, there will be joyous people on the streets. Voting for JD (S) will be the last thing on their minds! There will be celebrations everywhere in the state!

  10. Swaroop C H, The Dreamer - India, Life, Technology » Blog Archive » How to defend India? Says:

    […] On the other hand, Singaporeans may have less press freedom and such, but I am okay with that compared to the circus that we have here. […]

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