Bengaluru: Three months after being ousted from power in Karnataka, the Janata Dal (S) is in the throes of an upheaval with sources claiming that the possibility of a desertion from its ranks has become real, forcing party leader and former chief minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy to decide on a junket to Malaysia for his 30 odd party legislators sometime next week.
But not all legislators of Mr Deve Gowda's party are likely to take the bait, with sources saying some of them, cut up with father and son (Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy) for various reasons, are seriously considering skipping the tour. This could further complicate Mr Kumaraswamy's effort to keep his flock together in this hour of crisis.
Mr Kumaraswamy reportedly suspects his bête noire and Congress leader Siddaramaiah's hand in the grand design to lure JD (S) legislators and weaken the party in its bastion, the old Mysuru region. There could be an element of truth in this with sources saying Siddaramaiah who has just become opposition leader in the assembly, is keen on doing a repeat of what he did between 2009 and 2013 when he rocked the BJP boat. This time, he seems more keen on 'finishing off' the JD(S) so that the Congress can benefit more, which could be why Kumaraswamy is bent on keeping his MLAs away from the prying eyes of the Congress leader for some time.
But not all are toeing Kumaraswamy's line with some JD (S) legislators led by senior party MLC Basavaraj Horatti holding a meeting in Council deputy chairman, Dharme Gowda's chamber on Wednesday and discussing the future course of action. As many as eight MLCs were present at the meeting, said sources adding that they discussed whether they should skip the Malaysia tour and send a clear message to the party leadership.
A legislator who was privy to Wednesday's meeting told Deccan Chronicle however, that neither the BJP nor Mr Siddaramaiah were making any active efforts to split the JD(S). "The problem is within, we are upset, so many of us may resign soon. I cannot confirm when it will happen and how many will resign," he said.
According to sources, a large contingent of legislators are gravitating towards the BJP while a small section may join the Congress party if it comes to that. Meanwhile, party MLC, Puttanna added credence to the rumours about a JD(S) crisis in the offing, publicly claiming in Ramanagara that many of the party legislators would resign. This has set alarm bells ringing in party circles.
Sources said the JD(S) legislators may wait for two developments to unfold before taking a final call on quitting the party. Firstly, they are keen to find out which way the Supreme Court's judgement goes in the disqualified MLAs' case. If the judgement goes in favour of the disqualified MLAs, then swift political developments can be expected. The JD(S) legislators would also like to see which way the December 5 by-elections to 15 Assembly seats go. If the BJP manages to win seven or eight seats helping CM B.S. Yediyurappa to take control of the party, then the JD (S) legislators may resign and join the BJP, added sources.