KARNATAKA

Deve Gowda meets JD(S) Ministers, MLAs

Conclave: Janata Dal (S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda (right) with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (left) and M. Rajasekhara Murthy, MP, at a party meeting in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Conclave: Janata Dal (S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda (right) with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (left) and M. Rajasekhara Murthy, MP, at a party meeting in Bangalore on Wednesday.  

S. Rajendran

Bangalore: Legislators and ministers of the Janata Dal (Secular) on Wednesday met under the leadership of JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda ostensibly to discuss ways of strengthening the party. It also discussed the appointment of a new State party president.

Sources in the JD(S) said it was a “serious meeting with an important agenda”. It was held in the backdrop of the issue of transferring power to the Bharatiya Janata Party. The JD(S) has begun ascertaining the views of legislators and Ministers on whether to go ahead with handing over the post of Chief Minister to the BJP in October.

Discipline

Another important point raised at the meeting was the need to maintain discipline and secrecy over political developments related to the alliance with the BJP.

The party members were categorically told that they should neither divulge details nor speak in different voices on the political alliance with the BJP. Only the party leadership would speak for or against the alliance. This decision was taken in the light of recent statements by some Ministers that the present Government would continue till the end of the term of the 12th Assembly (mid 2009) while some others said that the JD(S) would hand over charge to the BJP as agreed.

Janata Dal spokesman Y.S.V. Datta said 78 legislators attended the meeting. The three Janata Dal (U) legislators and two BJP legislators — Sunitha Veerappa Gowda and Gopalakrishna Belur — also attended the meeting. Mr. Belur had walked out of the BJP and joined hands with the former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa when he joined the Samajwadi Party. His presence at the JD(S) meeting was an indication that he had now walked out of that party as well.

State party president and Home Minister M.P. Prakash had indicated to the party leadership nearly a year ago that he wanted to relinquish the post of party president. It was said then that a new president would be appointed after the Chamundeshwari byelection. However, six months have elapsed since the byelection, and the party leadership is now contemplating a new president and reconstitution of the State and district units of the party.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy also attended the daylong interaction at the party headquarters.

Mr. Deve Gowda also met all the Ministers individually and heard their views.



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