HK Kumaraswamy named JD(S) chief

Nikhil Kumaraswamy to head youth wing, Madhu Bangarappa is new working president

Kumaraswamy, a Dalit, is a 5-time MLA who currently represents the Sakleshpur assembly constituency. He replaced H Vishwanath, who resigned last month owning responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. (DH Photo)

Senior legislator HK Kumaraswamy was appointed as the Karnataka president of the JD(S) on Thursday as party supremo HD Deve Gowda unveiled the regional party’s new team after the drubbing it received in the Lok Sabha polls.

Kumaraswamy, a Dalit, is a 5-time MLA who currently represents the Sakleshpur assembly constituency. He replaced H Vishwanath, who resigned last month owning responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. 

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil was appointed as Karnataka JD(S) youth wing president. Nikhil replaces former legislator Madhu Bangarappa, who has been elevated as JD(S) state working president. 

“H Vishwanath resigned after my loss in the Tumkur Lok Sabha seat. I have named 5-time MLA and former minister HK Kumaraswamy as the state president,” Deve Gowda announced here. “Madhu Bangarappa lost the 2019 polls, but he is a committed party worker. So we told him to take the responsibility of working president,” he added. “We have decided to have only one working president. There is no question of multiple working presidents,” Gowda clarified.

The party’s youth wing president’s post was offered to Sharanagouda Kundkur, son of JD(S) Gurmitkal legislator Naganagouda Kundkur. Sharanagouda rose to fame earlier this year when an audio clip of his conversation with BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa - it was a sting operation to expose the BJP’s alleged attempts at poaching MLAs - went viral. “Sharanagouda refused and said Nikhil should be the youth president,” Gowda said.

Nikhil lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Mandya against BJP-backed Independent candidate Sumalatha.

“At 11 am today I got a call from party leaders and I didn't expect this at all,” Nikhil said. “This decision has been taken in consultation with all senior leaders. They have given me this responsibility believing in me. If the JD(S) still survives, it is because of Deve Gowda. He might have lost, but I know his resolve. He is completely dedicated to rejuvenating this party. I will follow in his footsteps,” he said. 

Former minister NM Nabi and MLA K Gopalaiah have been made JD(S) senior vice presidents. Party leader from Hanur R Manjunath is the vice president.

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