Coaxed by Gowda, Vishwanath to remain JD(S) state chief

Coaxed by Gowda, Vishwanath to remain JD(S) state chief

JD(S) president H D Deve Gowda, state president H Vishwanath, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and MLC Basavaraj Horatti have a chat at a party meeting in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH Photo

JD(S) state president H Vishwanath, who had decided to step down from his post, on Thursday said he had changed his mind and that he would continue in the post.

Addressing workers and leaders during a meeting convened in the party office, Vishwanath said that he had met party supremo H D Deve Gowda earlier in the day and requested him to relieve him from the post.

He said Gowda insisted that he continue as the party’s state president. “He said that the party was going through a testing time and that I should remain in the post. I could not say no to Gowda as he gave me political rebirth. I am indebted to him,” he added.

Vishwanath had earlier cited health reasons for his decision to step down. He had said that he could not perform his duties effectively as he was unable to travel across the state.

It is, however, learnt that Vishwanath was upset with his party leaders for completely ignoring him.

Later, addressing the gathering, Gowda said he would extend complete support to Vishwanath to run the party. Admitting that the party had made “mistakes,” Gowda said the same would not be repeated. “After Vishwanath was made the president, we should have appointed office bearers. But we didn’t do that,” he added.

He announced that former MLA Y S V Datta had been appointed the party’s campaign committee chairman. The party would also soon appoint office-bearers for four revenue divisions and Bengaluru Urban.

The JD(S) is unlikely to appoint chairpersons to boards and corporations, despite appeals from party leaders. During the meeting, leaders including Datta, Vishwanath, Basavaraj Horatti and PGR Sindhia sought that appointments be made to the statutory bodies. While Gowda remained non-committal, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy requested the aspiring MLAs to make sacrifices.

“In 2006, when I formed the government with BJP, I didn’t appoint anybody from my party to boards and corporations. The BJP made 20 to 30 appointments, giving them cabinet ranks. Today, it is inevitable for me to make these appointments. MLAs aspiring for these positions are hoping that they will be given the responsibilities soon. I request you to make a sacrifice by allowing the party to appoint MLAs defeated in elections to boards and corporations. If you don’t give us the permission, we will make you the chairpersons,” he added.