Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy voiced his dissatisfaction with the lack of support from the Muslim community for his Janata Dal (Secular) party in Karnataka. In an interview with Deccan Herald, Kumaraswamy expressed his frustration, particularly in light of his party’s efforts to protect the rights of Muslims in the state.
Kumaraswamy’s comments came after the Janata Dal (Secular) decided to join forces with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the crucial 2024 general assembly elections.
In the interview, Kumaraswamy questioned the commitment of five Muslim leaders from his party who chose to quit following his decision to align with the NDA. He emphasized the measures taken by his party to support the Muslim community, including the allocation of 4 per cent reservation, and his own efforts to stand by them during challenging times.
“I want to ask these leaders: what’s their contribution to the party? They’re merely citing the alliance as a reason for their exit,” Kumaraswamy told Deccan Herald. “Whenever there were incidents against them, and the Congress was silent, it was me who stood by them. What did they give us in return? If I don’t grow strong, how can I protect their interests? Despite protecting their community, there was no support from them.”
The departure of these five Muslim leaders, including former minister NM Nabi and senior vice-president Syed Shafiulla, reflects the growing discontent within the party over its alignment with the BJP-led NDA. Shafiulla expressed concerns about the secular party’s decision to join forces with the BJP, citing past communal issues created by the BJP during its tenure in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Kumaraswamy’s son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, met with Karnataka’s former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, a senior BJP leader. Nikhil clarified that the meeting was in his personal capacity and sought Yediyurappa’s blessings, acknowledging Yediyurappa’s significance as a senior BJP leader in the state. Visuals of Nikhil’s visit to Yediyurappa’s residence in Bengaluru circulated on social media.