Special Correspondent

His detractors decry suspension of former Karnataka Minister Sindhia

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (Secular) president and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda has convened a meeting of the national executive of the party here on December 25, upstaging his detractors in the party, who had announced a proposal to hold a meeting of the highest policy making body of the party at Thiruvananthapuram in the first week of January.

The December 25 meet is likely to discuss the revocation of the decision taken at the last meeting of the national executive to suspend Karnataka Chief Minister and Mr. Gowda's son, H.D. Kumaraswamy and 38 party MLAs from the primary membership of the party for forming a coalition Government in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Making the announcement about the meeting, party general secretary and spokesperson Kumwar Danish Ali said the meeting would take a view on the recommendations of the disciplinary action committee of the party. "The DAC headed by M.S. Siddique is likely to give its report soon and we will take a view on its recommendations at the national executive meeting." (The last meeting of the national executive had asked the DAC to suggest further action against Mr. Kumaraswamy and others).

Suspension decried

Coming down heavily on Mr. Gowda for suspending former Karnataka Minister P.G.R. Sindhia from the party on Friday, his detractors in the party said that Mr. Sindhia was innocent and that it was Mr. Gowda who had worked against party's principles and policies.

"No violation"

In a joint statement, they said that while Mr. Sindhia had never worked against the basic principles of the party, Mr. Gowda has been violating the principle and party's basic policy of secularism.

The statement was signed by M.P. Veerendra Kumar, Surendra Mohan, Manju Mohan, Mrinal Gore, Sripad Rao Shinde, Shoaib Iqbal, and Ajeet Raj Karnawat.

They described the suspension of Mr. Sindhia as a reaction to the defeat of the candidate jointly put up by the ruling partners in Karnataka against former JD (S) leader, Siddaramaiah, in the by-election to the Chamundeswari Assemby seat.

"Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda has been so much rattled by his candidate's defeat in the by-election to the Chamundeswari Assembly constituency that he has suspended Mr. P.G.R. Sindhia," they said.

"Suspension unconstitutional"

Terming the suspension as unconstitutional, they said that Mr. Gowda had ceased to function as the national president of the party since he had not convened a single meeting of the national executive after February, "fearing that the executive might disapprove of his alliance with the BJP."