JD(S) leaders on Lanka junket to dissect poll defeat

JD(S) leaders on Lanka junket to dissect poll defeat

Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs, MLCs and senior leaders will go on a four-day junket to Sri Lanka, in what will be an exercise in finding the causes for the party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections. 

The group will leave Bangalore on the evening of June 15 and be closeted in a resort near Colombo before returning to the City on June 19. The JD(S) party floor leader, H D Kumaraswamy, will have one-on-one talks with the leaders and get their feedback about his leadership. 

Kumaraswamy told Deccan Herald on Tuesday evening, “Heading to Sri Lanka was my idea as I needed all our MLAs at one location away from distractions. Besides, it is cheaper to go to Sri Lanka than Delhi.” 

Kumaraswamy said the primary objective of the trip was to rebuild the party after the drubbing it got in the general elections. “After our dismal performance, rumours are going about the future of the JD(S). Some said we have been decimated, others have dared to predict that a section of the JD(S) MLAs will join the Congress. We need to dispel these rumours and take the party in a new direction,” he explained. 

The former chief  minister also said some MLAs of his party believed he was inaccessible to them, and hence he needed to ensure they could vent their frustration on him in the open rather than behind his back. “While we will spend two days in Colombo, another day and night will be spent in a nearby resort which is in the middle of a national forest,” said Kumaraswamy. 

Apart from the MLAs, the JD(S) may take along its senior MLCs and candidates who lost the last Assembly elections in 2013. But he denied it was a “jolly” trip. 

Kumaraswamy may be busy making plans to take the party in a new direction, but his senior MLAs are dreaming of lazing around on the seashores of the island nation.

According to one MLA, the party legislators had been “bored” with the day-to-day political rigmarole and needed a break. Being a small party, a four-day junket will not hurt anyone, the MLA said. 

Another senior MLA said Kumaraswamy had made personal phone calls to several of them, asking them to join him on this “holiday” trip. The total number of JD(S) leaders who will go to Sri Lanka is likely to be close to 60. 

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