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Veerendra Kumar rejoins JD(S)

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JD(S) president H.D. Deve Gowda with M.P. Veerendra Kumar (left) at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.
JD(S) president H.D. Deve Gowda with M.P. Veerendra Kumar (left) at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The breakaway faction of the Janata Dal (Secular) led by M.P. Veerendra Kumar, a parliamentarian from Kerala, on Monday formally rejoined the parent party after remaining out for nearly two years following differences over the formation of a coalition government by JD(S) president H.D. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka.

Welcoming Mr. Veerendra Kumar and his supporters back to the party fold, Mr. Gowda said this would strengthen the party and act as an inspiration for cadre across the country, particularly in Karnataka and Kerala, at a time when fascism and communalism were rearing their ugly heads.

“The Kerala unit of our party had parted ways with us due to a political turbulence in 2006 ... Now it is back with us and we are going to fight communal forces together at the national level. It is one of our strongest State units in the country. Its return will give a new message and make JD(S) a national party.”

Declaring that the issues that had led to his walking out were not there any more, Mr. Kumar said he would now work hand in hand with Mr. Gowda in taking forward the party’s policy of preserving secularism and maintaining equidistance from both the BJP and the Congress.

“We completely agree with the political thinking of the party and will combat communal forces.”

Party secretary general Kunwar Danish Ali said Mr. Veerendra Kumar would continue to be the leader of the party’s parliamentary wing and Kerala party president.

The return of Mr. Kumar to the parent party had been in the offing for some time now. The move gained momentum during the special session of Parliament in July on the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

Mr. Kumar had attended a dinner meeting with Left leaders at Mr. Gowda’s residence to discuss the strategy to be adopted during the Parliament debate and as the leader of the parliamentary wing of the party he had participated in the debate on behalf of the party.

Party sources said the formal reunion took time as certain formalities had to be completed.

While Mr. Gowda had to get the formal approval of senior party leaders to revoke the order passed by the party national executive suspending Mr. Kumar from the primary membership of the party, Mr. Kumar had to get the formal clearance from his colleagues in Kerala to rejoin the parent party.

Asked whether there were any moves to get other senior leaders, who had left the party along with Mr. Kumar, to rejoin, Mr. Gowda said Mr. Kumar had been in touch with the former Karnataka Finance Minister, P.G.R. Sindhia and there were indications that he could come back.

On the former Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, who had once been very close to Mr. Gowda, but left the party and joined the Congress following differences with Mr. Gowda, he categorically ruled out any rapprochement with him.

“The question does not arise.”


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