The Janata Dal (Secular), seeking to take a lead in the formation of the third front, has decided to hold a convention of leaders from about 15 “secular and like-minded” parties from various States to shape a non-Congress and non-BJP political forum.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Saturday, JD(S) legislature party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy said the proposed convention would be held either in the last week of January or the first week of February. The party wants to hold the convention either in Bangalore or on city’s outskirts.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said already a preliminary round of discussion had been held with representatives of about 15 political parties in Delhi recently, on the formation of a third front as a forum for the non-Congress and non-BJP political forces, especially the regional parties.

Apart from the Left parties, the proposed convention would be attended by political leaders from Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and northern States among others, he said.

He said the results of polls to different States recently had sent a clear political message that people were backing the regional political forces to protect their interests rather than national parties. In this context, the JD(S) had a crucial role to play in the State in the coming Lok Sabha elections, he said.

Democratic process

The meeting of the party leaders had decided to follow a methodical and democratic process of allowing the party’s district units to recommend the names of probable candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, he said, and declared that the list of candidates would be ready soon after January 15.

As part of the preparations for the polls, the JD(S) would hold a convention of all its elected representatives, right from village panchayat members at Bangalore Palace Grounds around January 10. This would be followed by a women’s convention to be held in Chitradurga, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, the former Prime Minister and JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda made it clear that the party had not taken up any discussion regarding wooing Pramoda Devi, widow of scion of the erstwhile Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar.

“What you have been hearing is all fabricated reports. It is not appropriate to discuss such issues when the death ceremony of Wadiyar is yet to be held. Let us not forget that the Wadiyar family commands great respect for the huge contributions made by it towards the welfare of the State,” he said.

Party State president A. Krishnappa said the party would go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections. A meeting of the legislature party was also held later in the day.

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