Former prime minister and national president of the Janata Dal (Secular) H D Deve Gowda on Saturday said he would devote his time to strengthening the party in Karnataka.
Indicating that he would himself take over the responsibilities of the State president (the post is vacant) for the time being, Gowda said, “Despite being the national president (of the party), I have little work outside of Karnataka. I will devote my time completely to Karnataka and strengthen the party in the State. I will travel across the State and connect with the people.”
The JD(S) has not named any person as the State party president after the demise of A Krishnappa in May this year. Party sources had indicated that the JD(S) might look for a minority community party worker to head the JD(S) State unit. But with Gowda willing to take over the responsibility of building the party in Karnataka, the JD(S) will likely delay the appointment of a State president.
Asserting this, JD(S) floor leader H D Kumaraswamy said the party, at its recent meeting in Sri Lanka, had decided to leave the decision of appointing the State president to Gowda. “The decision is completely vested with the national president. I was asked to take charge again, but it is not feasible.”
The JD(S) leaders’ Sri Lanka sojourn, it is claimed, saw ‘an open and healthy’ debate among themselves. It is said Kumaraswamy was, in fact, questioned directly over his leadership, with several leaders claiming that it was his ‘over-confidence’ which led to the JD(S)’ dismal show in the Lok Sabha elections. The party leaders said the JD(S) was ‘directionless’ at the grassroots level, with no proper leadership structure.
It is said the party will now focus on the upcoming panchayat elections, apart from the more prestigious Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike elections.
‘Rail fare hike will hit common man’
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Saturday said Union Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s statement that he was only implementing the rail fare hike previously decided by the UPA regime was ‘unwise’. He said the present fare hike was unnecessary and it would hurt the common man severely. “The Railway Minister needs to prioritise his decisions by giving prominence to reduce rail accidents and other such immediate requirements,” he said.