Now, JD(S) wants to slough off 'Vokkaliga party' tag

Smarting from the devastating defeat in the recently held parliamentary byelections to Mandya and Bangalore Rural constituencies, leaders of the Janata Dal (S) on Wednesday went into a huddle at a private hotel in the City to discuss the debacle and to find ways to shed the ‘Vokkaliga party’ tag ahead of the general elections next year.

Having accepted the resignation of H D Kumaraswamy as the State party president, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda has now embarked on a complete overhaul of the party. At the daylong meeting, the executive committee decided to form six different platforms for ‘accommodating’ various communities in the party. All the six posts are to be held by non-Vokkaligas.

According to party sources, the six platforms are: the party State president, the parliamentary board chairman, two working committee presidents, one secretary general and one political affairs president.|

It is said a decision had been also taken to form a core committee to oversee the entire co-ordination between the various posts. The party will discuss the decisions at the Legislature Party meeting to be held on Thursday at the Golden Palms resort. The names of Basavaraj Yatnal and Basavaraj Horatti (both Lingayats), P G R Sindhia, A Krishnappa, Bandeppa Kashempur (all OBC), Iqbal Ansari (Muslim) besides H K Kumaraswamy (SC) are making rounds for the state party president’s post. But Horatti and Kumaraswamy have ruled out their candidature.

Wednesday’s meeting was attended among others by Yatnal, Sindhia, H D Revanna and Y S V Datta. Speculations are rife that the party chief will be chosen in a couple of days, but the announcement in this regard will be made only next week. As many as 30 party members were invited to the executive committee meeting.

H D Kumaraswamy, sources said, was advised by senior leaders not to attend the committee meeting as he had resigned as the State party president. JD(S) MLA and senior leader N Cheluvarayaswamy did not attend the meeting as his wife had been hospitalised. However, he had met Gowda in the morning and conveyed his predicament. Former MLA Dinakar Shetty also stayed away from the meeting due to personal commitments.

The churning

* No alliance with any party for 2014 Lok Sabha
* Chamarajpet MLA, Zameer Ahmed Khan, unlikely to attend party legislators’ meeting scheduled for Thursday
* Section of MLAs suggest Kumaraswamy should continue as State president
* Legislators’ opinion to be sought to select State chief

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