news Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | September 3, 2014 | 9 pm IST After making a rather lot of noise about attempting to finding a “genuine solution” to the problems of the Janata Dal (Secular) appears to have become the party of the “Father and Sons”. There has been a lot of discontent among the senior leadership of the Janata Dal (Secular) in the last few months over how the party is run by the diktat of its national president H D Deve Gowda and his sons H D Kumaraswamy and H D Revanna. After making a show of introspection in instalments (first the Sri Lanka trip and then the meeting on Wednesday), the Gowdas have gone back to square one. Kumaraswamy had called a meeting of legislators of the party on Wednesday at a private hotel in Bangalore and had written letters to all of them, informing them about the meeting. He said in the two-page letter quoted by The Hindu that he was disturbed by the developments in the party.  The problems faced by the party are manifold. Many of the party leaders are not happy with the leadership of Kumaraswamy and both he and his father have been accused of taking decisions unilaterally. The general feeling among legislators was that they read about their party’s decisions in morning papers or only found out when television reporters thrust the microphone asking for a response. The audio clipping that surfaced saying that politicians had taken cash for seats to the Legislative Council only compounded the party’s problems. Some of the senior leaders of the party are reportedly preparing to join either the BJP or the Congress. Things got to such a head that Deve Gowda recently told party leaders that they could leave the party if they wished. With so much discontent, it appeared that Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy were serious about making real changes. In the letter, Kumaraswamy also said: “I am hurt by reports on the sagging image of the party and lack of coordination among the leaders, in the media. I am pained as media reports point an accusing finger at me.” He also said that the meeting had been called to find a “genuine solution” to the problems faced by the party. But things got rather interesting on Tuesday and Wednesday, even unintentionally humorous. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, senior party leader B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan said that he had not received the letter, and that even if he had, he would not attend the meeting. When asked about Zameer Ahmed’s statement before the meeting was scheduled to begin here on Wednesday, Kumaraswamy told reporters: “I have written letters to everybody, and I have sent two letters to those (Zameer Ahmed) who are saying they haven’t received the letter. But I made a mistake, I sent the letters in Kannada, I should have sent it in Urdu.” When he was asked for his response later in the day, Zameer Ahmed retorted in his typical blend of Kannada and Urdu: “Yake? Namduke Kannada barudilla? I am very pained.” (Why? Don't I know Kannada?) After many deliberations and all-round agreement that the party was fast becoming what is being referred to in Kannada as the “appa-makkala” party (the Father-and-Sons party), things just went right back to where they were. Since the main grouse of senior party leaders was that all party related decisions were made either by Deve Gowda or his sons, it was decided to form a core committee of legislators to make collective decisions.  When journalists asked if Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy or Revanna would be on the core committee, the answer was: Yes, but there will be other legislators on it as well.
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