C.M. Ibrahim Likely to Join JD(S); Meets Deve Gowda

Bengaluru: Giving credence to the rumours that Congress MLC, C.M. Ibrahim will quit the party and join JD(S), which is of late cosying to the ruling BJP, the former minister said on Sunday that he welcomed the government’s decision to ban cow slaughter in the State. The rumours that Mr Ibrahim feels sidelined in the Congress and is planning to leave the party gained strength after JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy recently met him.

Ibrahim’s statement flies in the face of Karnataka Congress’ stand against the bill that proposes to ban cow slaughter. Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah has launched a series of attacks on the ruling BJP over its decision.

In a statement, Mr Ibrahim appealed to Muslims to shun eating beef and strongly demanded that the ruling BJP set up ‘Goushalas’ (cow shelters) at panchayat level instead of at taluka level as is being proposed.

“As a Muslim, I strongly feel that our community should not indulge in any activity that hurts the religious sentiments of majority Hindus in the country. Muslim community must realise it and shun eating beef,” CM Ibrahim stated.

Ibrahim who is on a statewide tour to meet his friends and supporters before taking a final call to quit the Congress and join Janata Dal(S). According to the sources close to Ibrahim, he is unhappy with Congress leaders who “ill-treated” and “ignored” him. He particularly targeted Siddaramaiah, whom he described as a different man before and after becoming chief minister.

Although last week, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar met Ibrahim at his Bengaluru residence to dissuade him from quitting the party, the sources claim that he has not changed his mind.

Mr Ibrahim also met JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his son Mr Kumarswamy at their house leaving no room for any doubt about his political plans. But interestingly, even Mr Kumaraswamy and the JD(S) have said that it will oppose the anti cow slaughter bill. The news is making the rounds that Kumaraswamy has offered Ibrahim the post of state president of JD(S). However, Ibrahim has not officially said anything on this.

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