JD(S) in Karnataka may have new chief

Shrewd move: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is learnt to have favoured Adaguru H. Vishwanath for the post.

Shrewd move: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is learnt to have favoured Adaguru H. Vishwanath for the post.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Adaguru H. Vishwanath likely to head party in State

In a strategic move, the Janata Dal (S) is gearing up to effect a change of guard of its organisation in Karnataka. This has assumed political importance as Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy himself is at present holding the post of party State president.

While the JD(S) leadership has been maintaining that it wants to relieve Mr. Kumaraswamy of the organisational responsibility ahead of the Lok Sabha polls so that he can focus completely on State administration, the likely choice of candidate for the party’s top post in the State suggests a shrewd political strategy to handle coalition pressures.

Senior leader Adaguru H. Vishwanath is likely to take over the mantle of JD(S) State unit president as the party top leadership, including Mr. Kumaraswamy, is learnt to have favoured his candidature.

Countering Siddaramaiah

Mr. Vishwanath, known for speaking his mind, was once a close associate of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah. In fact, Mr. Vishwanath is one of those who was responsible for Mr. Siddaramaiah’s inclusion in the Congress. But the relationship between the two leaders, who belong to the backward Kuruba community, have soured so much that both have indulged in heated verbal duel many a times.

The soured relationship with Mr. Siddaramaiah made Mr. Vishwanath to quit the Congress and join the JD(S) ahead of the Assembly polls.

Political observers feel that the JD(S) is now trying to use the friend-turned-foe of Mr. Siddaramaiah to politically counter him at a time when he is being seen in JD(S) circles as a person who is not giving a free hand to Mr. Kumaraswamy.

It may be noted that Mr. Siddaramaiah, who is also chairman of the JD(S)-Congress coalition co-ordination committee, had raised objections to presenting a separate and full-fledged budget by Mr. Kumaraswamy. Recently, Mr. Kumaraswamy had recently become emotional and shed tears while referring to the problems of handling coalition, during his address to party workers.

Age factor

Though Mr. Vishwanath had earlier expressed reluctance to accept the responsibility citing age factor, he is now learnt to be inclined to take up the challenge after party leaders persuaded him.

When contacted by The Hindu, Mr. Vishwanath said; “I will take up the responsibility, if party leaders, especially party patriarch Mr. Deve Gowda asks me to head the State unit reposing faith in me.”

The move is also being seen as an attempt to woo the Kuruba community, which has dominant presence in the State, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The JD(S) is said to be particularly focussing on increasing its tally as well as vote percentage in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in Old Mysuru region.

Meanwhile, the names of party's national working president PGR Sindhia, Mudigere MLA B.B. Ningaiah and former MLA YSV Datta too are doing rounds for the party’s top post. But considering the political context, Mr. Vishwanath has the edge over others, say party’s senior leaders.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:10:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/jds-in-karnataka-may-have-new-chief/article24498778.ece

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