Deve Gowda to take out padayatra to revive party

He aims to connect with the JD(S) cadre and masses

After the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, the Janata Dal (Secular), which is trying to revive the party fortunes and raise workers’ morale, will hold padayatra across the State in a bid to connect with the party cadre and masses.

The padayatra will commence from August 20, party supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda said on Sunday.

“I will lead the padayatra. I’m building the party by organising the party cadre,” he told presspersons here. Mr. Gowda, who had retracted from his statement on the JD(S)-Congress coalition government’s stability, said: “The padayatra by JD(S) will not affect the coalition government.”

On the BJP’s criticism that the padayatra was being held ahead of a possible midterm poll to the State Assembly, Mr. Gowda said: “Let them say anything. It is being taken up to build the party.”

For the regional party, which is currently strategising to remain relevant in the State, the padayatra is a way of connecting with the people as after the poll defeat, several leaders had blamed lack of people’s connect for the debacle. “All important leaders, including Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, will be taking part in the padayatra likely to start from the Cauvery basin region and head towards central Karnataka where the party has considerable base,” a leader said.

On CM’s trip

Regarding the BJP’s attack on Mr. Kumaraswamy’s private trip to the U.S., he said: “Should Mr. Kumaraswamy take permission from Mr. Yeddyurappa to go to the U.S. He is bearing all the expenses of the trip. He has gone to attend a programme organised by the Adichunchangiri Mutt.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Gowda has been interacting with various wings and units of the party over the last fortnight, assessing the loss in elections and eliciting feedback for the party’s revival.

Meeting ends abruptly

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda was taken by surprise on Sunday while addressing the party’s Bengaluru unit leaders and workers. He was confronted by party workers, who accused the party of ignoring grassroots workers in appointment to boards and corporations. They accused the party leaders of offering these posts to legislators and ignoring the workers even though the party was in power for the last one year. They also pointed to appointments in Aryavyshya Corporation and said that none of the appointed members were party workers.

The demand by party workers took Mr. Gowda by surprise and he ended his meeting abruptly. Later, the workers mobbed party’s Rajya Sabha MP Kupendra Reddy, seeking appointments to boards and corporations for them.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:30:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/deve-gowda-to-take-out-padayatra-to-revive-party/article28236448.ece

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