Yeddyurappa team takes over as the outfit’s office-bearers
Setting the stage ready for the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to take over the leadership of the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), his supporters on Thursday formally took the KJP organisation into their control by forming their team of office-bearers and appointing Mr. Yeddyurappa’s close aide V. Dhananjaya Kumar as its State unit president.
The lesser known KJP’s State council that met in Bangalore on Friday at Mr. Yeddyurappa’s office in Malleswaram, unanimously chose Mr. Kumar as its State president in place of its founder Padmanabha Prasanna Kumar, who has now been accommodated as vice-president. Mr. Prasanna did not attend the meeting.
According to sources, Mr. Kumar is only an interim president and would leave the post to Mr. Yeddyurappa when he formally joins the KJP.
It also formed a 22-member team of office-bearers that comprised BJP MLC M.D. Laxminarayana as general secretary. When asked how a legislator of the BJP could become general secretary of another political party, Mr. Laxminarayana, a close aide of Mr. Yeddyurappa, said he had quit the BJP membership at the time of getting nominated to the Legislative Council as the norms stipulated that one should not be a political party member to seek nomination to the Upper House.
Veteran leader K.H. Srinivasa, who had joined the BJP by quitting the Congress just before the parliamentary elections, has been appointed vice-president of the KJP.
Soon after taking charge of the new responsibility, Mr. Kumar extended an invitation to Mr. Yeddyurappa to join the organisation and lead it.
He said the KJP would approach the Election Commission in about a week seeking a symbol.
He hinted that the party may ask for one of the symbols from among bicycle, farmer tilling land and rising sun.
He said the party would contest all the 224 Assembly seats in the next lections.
Accusing national parties such as the BJP and the Congress of failure to protect the regional interests, he said the KJP was being revived as a regional party to protect the interests of the State. He alleged that both the BJP and the Congress had failed in protecting the State’s interests on Cauvery waters.
He said the KJP would stay away from the saffron agenda and focus on the welfare of the State and its people.
Prominent among new office-bearers was BJP leader and film personality Madan Patel.