Special Correspondent

Bangalore: After a gap of nearly four years, the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his bête noire Siddaramaiah shared the dais to felicitate the former Minister M. Chandrashekar on his 80th birthday. The occasion turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the audience who witnessed several erstwhile Janata Party leaders come together. Yet another important leader at the programme was the former Chairman of the Legislative council, B.L. Shankar who had served a stint as the president of the State Janata Dal.

Mr. Siddaramaiah got into the top flight of State politics thanks to Mr. Gowda who on his elevation as Prime Minister wanted the former to succeed him as Chief Minister. After all the intra-party tussle in mid-1996, Mr. Gowda settled down for the appointment of Mr. Siddaramaiah as Deputy Chief Minister and the two together floated the Janata Dal (Secular) in 1999 after the formal split of the Janata Dal.

Mr. Gowda and Mr Siddaramaiah have not been seeing eye-to-eye after the latter’s expulsion from the JD (S) in 2005 when he launched the AHINDA movement to with an intention to launch a new variety of a political movement.