M A I N   N E W S

Meeting of JD (S) rebels
Prakash may not get enough support
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 27
There are indications that Janata Dal (Secular) legislators are reconciling and the parallel party meeting called by senior leader M.P. Prakash may not get enough members to rebel against the Gowda family.

Prakash is holding a meeting of “like-minded” legislators tomorrow to “give a new shape” to the JD (S) following “unilateral decisions” by party supreme H.D. Deve Gowda and his son and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy that led to the withdrawal of support to the B.S. Yeddyurappa government. The official meeting of the JD (S), which will include members of the zila parishad and local bodies, is being held on November 29.

The imminent announcement of the dissolution of the state Assembly has poured cold water over the plans of the rebel JD (S) legislators, who were confident that Prakash would be able to convince the Congress to have another short at governance in the state. The same group had supported Prakash when he had initiated negotiations with the Congress as the JD (S) refused to transfer power to it. However, when the Congress started insisting on a deal minus the Gowda family, Kumaraswamy announced a tie up with the BJP again. Prakash was isolated in the party with only three legislators supporting him.

Sources said this time also Prakash would see erosion in his support base though around 10 legislators may attend his meeting tomorrow. A majority of these legislators could be from the Lingayat community to which Prakash belongs and which is a political counter to the Vokkaliga community represented by the Gowdas.

The sources said the reason for the depletion in the rebels’ ranks was that there were not many options open to them as they were not assured of seats in case they shifted base to the Congress or the BJP en mass. There is also the fact that the JD (S) is a party flush with funds after being in power for more than three years. These funds are controlled by the Gowda family.

Meanwhile, Prakash today clarified that his decisions were not against Deve Gowda personally. He said some legislators wanted to showcase their political ethics and also discuss whether they wanted to join any other party or bring about changes in the JD (S). Prakash also made it clear that neither he nor the legislators attending the meeting called by him tomorrow would participate in the JD (S) executive committee meeting called one day later. Giving an indication of his future plans, he said he would call a convention at Hubli after tomorrow’s meeting, which would be attended by 150 like-minded people, including legislators, former legislators, and members of the zila parishad.

Meanwhile, JD (S) state president Merajuddin Patel disclosed that more than 7,000 office-bearers from across the state would attend the executive committee meeting of the party. He said he expected Prakash to attend the meeting, but if he did not the party would decide on action against him.



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