OTHERS

AIPJD meet, a morale booster for party

MADIKERI June 26 . The recent convention of the All-India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD), Kodagu unit, was a morale-boosting event for the party in the district. The merger process remained the core issue at the convention. The national President of the AIPJD, S.R. Bommai, who inaugurated the convention, was quick to retort that the media were responsible for the "confusion" that prevailed on the merger talks.

By and large, their indications on the merger were positive, contrary to the stand taken at the AIPJD meeting in Bangalore that talks on the merger would be stalled for the "time being".

Though leaders such as C. Byre Gowda, M.C. Nanaiah, M.P. Prakash, Ramesh Kumar, B.N. Bachche Gowda, and B.A. Moideen, said the doors of the AIPJD were open for talks on forging unity, K.B. Shanappa and M.P. Nadagouda differed.

At a recent meeting in Hubli, the President of the JD(S) State unit, Siddaramaiah, said the JD(S) would welcome any move for the factions to come together. In response, Mr. Nanaiah appealed to Mr. Siddaramaiah to lead the talks on re-unification.

At the convention here, Mr. Byre Gowda categorically stated that the AIPJD would not oppose any development on bringing about unity among the factions.

According to Mr. Nanaiah and Mr. Byre Gowda, the "personal ambition and ego" of certain leaders had been the stumbling block. There were too many leaders in the factions, making it "top heavy". Mr. Prakash admitted at the convention that it was because of the folly of the leaders that the party had lost power and split. Another confession that came from him was that the Janata Dal had split more than 10 times in the recent history because of the leaders' mistakes.

The other feature of the convention was that every leader castigated the Congress and the BJP. Their speeches had a clear message to the people to support the AIPJD in the forthcoming elections. The Congress was virtually made out to be a "non-entity" and the BJP's label as a "communal party" was underscored.

There were many local leaders in the convention, who "defected" from the JD(S), apparently frustrated by the goings-on in the district unit led by A.K. Subbaiah. They included Yenkana Uthaiah, former president of the Kodagu JD(S), Kotera Shambhu, and B.K. Chinnappa.

Certain "fence sitters" too were present. There is every possibility that they will show up if the JD(S) convenes a district convention to counter the "gains" made by the AIPJD in Kodagu. The other interesting fact is that every leader emphasised that the Kodagu AIPJD should work under Mr. Nanaiah. It is indeed a shot in the arm for Mr. Nanaiah, who has joined the AIPJD after maintaining a neutral stance since the split.

The popular belief here is that neither the AIPJD nor the JD(S) will have an advantage if they chose to remain separate. Some analysts feel that the factions could sink their differences and come together just after the announcement of elections to the Legislative Assembly.

There is also talk that the AIPJD and the JD(S) could strike some sort of an "alliance" to counter their common opponents, the Congress and the BJP.

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