Mysuru: With two of its MLAs — A.H. Vishwanath and K.C. Narayanagowda — tendering their resignation in Bengaluru on Saturday, the JD(S) feels the heat in Mysuru region, the party’s stronghold.
While Vishwanath, who recently quit as the State JD(S) Chief, was elected from Hunsur Assembly segment in Mysuru district, Narayanagowda was elected for the second term from K.R. Pet segment in Mandya district.
The JD(S) has a strong presence in both Mysuru and Mandya districts. Out of the 11 Assembly segments in Mysuru district, the JD(S) won five and swept all the seven seats in Mandya district in the 2018 Assembly polls.
Vishwanath, a senior Kuruba Community leader, has his own following in Hunsur and K.R. Nagar Assembly segments.
Vishwanath, who is in politics since the 1970s, was with the Congress till 2017, when he left the party accusing the then Chief Minister Siddharamaiah of ill-treatment, to join the JD(S).
After being denied a Cabinet berth in the Coalition Government, Vishwanath was made JD(S) State President. Vishwanath as the State JD(S) Chief was upset during the recent elections to Urban Local Bodies as the candidates recommended by him were not considered. The senior leader had blamed K.R. Nagar MLA and Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh of neglecting him.
K.R. Pet MLA K.C. Narayanagowda was also upset with the Coalition Government and had expressed his displeasure over the Government, by abstaining from the Budget Session. Some K.R. Pet Congress leaders then had alleged that Narayanagowda had received Rs.10 crore from the BJP as part of ‘Operation Lotus.’
Narayanagowda reportedly has large business interests in Mumbai.
Likely to join BJP
Both Vishwanath and Narayanagowda are likely to join the BJP, according to sources.
Vishwanath is said to be keen on joining the BJP to secure the political career of his son Amit V. Devarahatti, currently a ZP Member from K.R. Nagar taluk.
It may be recalled here that Vishwanath had met senior BJP leader and MP V. Sreenivasa Prasad at Mysuru last month and also had a breakfast meeting with BJP MPs G.S. Basavaraj and B.Y. Raghavendra at New Delhi a few days ago.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Narayanagowda had shifted furniture and other articles from his house in K.R. Pet town three days back.
Following his resignation, the Police have upped the security to his house, as there was a possibility of angry JD(S) workers attacking his house.
Mysuru was the focal point of political quake
The political quake that hit the 14-month-old JD(S)-Congress Coalition Government, headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday, has its epicentre in Mysuru.
The script was reportedly written by senior leaders of the party who played a decisive role in giving a shock to the Government.
Though internal tremors within the Coalition was there from the beginning, it took a serious turn when Vishwanath was denied a Cabinet-berth and also not made a member of the Co-ordination Committee, though he was the State JD(S) Chief.
Vishwanath later stepped up his attack on Siddharamaiah to warm up to the MLAs and leaders against Siddharamaiah’s leadership. The senior JD(S) leader was further disappointed when two Independent MLAs were inducted into the Kumaraswamy Cabinet.
Enraged over the raw deal meted out to him by the party and the CM, Vishwanath decided to call it quits, following which he drew a blue print to bring down the Coalition Government. Keeping in touch with Congress rebels and fence-sitters, Vishwanath timed his resignation to perfection, even as CM Kumaraswamy was away in the US on a private visit.
Days before he quit the Assembly on Saturday, Vishwanath is said to have called senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy and then made a trip to Guwahati, from where he went to Delhi and met some BJP MPs and leaders from the State.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that former Minister and BTM Layout Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy, who is known for his loyalty to the Congress, is said to have told Vishwanath on Friday that he and a few Congress Legislators from Bengaluru would come out of the party, if he took the lead and this triggered the resignation by Congress MLAs on Saturday.
Even as the 14 Legislators from JD(S) and Congress left for Mumbai from Bengaluru last night, sources said that Vishwanath, who reportedly triggered the resignations, was assured by the BJP of a Rajya Sabha (RS) seat or a Cabinet berth in the NDA Ministry.
Vishwanath is said to be in no mood to contest the by-polls to Hunsur Assembly segment, once his resignation is accepted by the Speaker.
Vishwanath under attack in social media by JD(S) men
Even as Vishwanath’s sudden resignation sent shockwaves in political circles, JD(S) workers in Mysuru district are up in arms against the senior leader.
Deeply disappointed over Vishwanath’s move, the JD(S) workers took to social media to condemn him. They also defaced the photograph of Vishwanath and his son Amit V. Devarahatti in posters at Hunsur.
Satish, who heads the JD(S) IT Unit, reportedly called Vishwanath’s Personal Secretary (PS) and threatened him last night.
In the call record, which has gone viral, the caller, said to be a JD(S) worker, is alleged to have used abusive words against Vishwanath and his PS.
The JD(S) workers also alleged that though Vishwanath was given a political rebirth after he was sidelined by Siddharamaiah while in the Congress, he has backstabbed the party which made him an MLA from Hunsur.