JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Monday met senior leader and Congress MLC CM Ibrahim and invited him to return to the party. Ibrahim, a former Union Minister and one-time close associate of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, had joined Congress in 2008, and is said to be unhappy with its Legislature Party Leader Siddaramaiah.
"He (Ibrahim) is more like an elder brother in the family. He has had a long political association with my father Deve Gowda [JD(S) supremo] even before I entered politics. In whichever party he may be, he is like an elder member of our family," Kumaraswamy said. Speaking to reporters after meeting Ibrahim, he said, though Ibrahim left the party in 2004, there is a cordial relationship between them.
"I have observed how Congress and a few of his friends have treated him. We had political discussions today... In 1994, he along with Gowda immensely contributed in organising the party. I requested him (Ibrahim) to return to his former party to play the same role in the days to come...he will take a decision at an appropriate time," he added.
Ibrahim had left JD(S) after the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Soon after, Siddaramaiah was also expelled from the JD(S) and he formally joined the Congress in 2006. Ibrahim joined the Congress in 2008 and became an integral part of Siddarmaiah's coterie who went on to become Karnataka Chief Minister in 2013. He was also associated with "AHINDA" (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits), which helped the Siddaramaiah-led Congress come to power in 2013.
According to sources, Ibrahim has been sulking, upset with Siddaramaiah after he was not considered for the Leader of the Opposition post in the Legislative Council. The position is currently occupied by SR Patil, who is also considered to be close to the former Chief Minister.
Stating that he has not yet decided on quitting Congress, Ibrahim said he will travel across the state after December 15 and get the opinion of his followers and well-wishers before taking any decision. "I'm now a Congress MLC. I will have to seek the opinion of the people on what step I have to take next and then come to a good decision... I will also talk to Deve Gowda and take a decision," he said.
Asked what was the reason for him being miffed with Siddaramaiah, he said, "Nothing has happened between me and him...I have never left anyone, they left me. I took Siddaramaiah to Badami (assembly constituency for 2018 polls)...I don't have anything against him," he said.