Vishwanath is new JD(S) state president

Vishwanath is new JD(S) state president

Vishwanath takes charge as JD(S) state president in Bengaluru on Sunday. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and party national president H D Deve Gowda are also seen.

Former minister H Vishwanath was unanimously appointed state unit president of the JD(S) in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The post was held by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. The JD(S) leadership has been maintaining that it wants to relieve Kumaraswamy of organisational responsibilities so that he can focus on state administration. Kumaraswamy completed the formalities by handing over the party flag to Vishwanth in the presence of JD(S) national president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.

Vishwanath (68), was once a close associate of former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah. It is said that Vishwanath was one of those responsible for Siddaramaiah’s inclusion in the Congress. Both Siddaramaiah and Vishwanth hail from the Kuruba community. The duo fell out and Vishwanth quit the Congress to join the JD(S) in 2017.

Vishwanath's appointment is seen as a political strategy by Gowda to counter Siddaramaiah, who is also the chairman of the coordination and monitoring committee of the coalition government. Initially, Vishwanath, who was keen on getting a ministerial berth, had expressed reluctance to accept the responsibility, citing age factor. He was persuaded by Deve Gowda to take up the challenge.

The move is also being seen as an attempt to woo the Kuruba community, ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Gowda said the party will come out with a new list of office-bearers in 10 days. Priority will be given to youth, people from backward classes, minorities and Lingayats, he said.

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