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KARNATAKA

Deve Gowda denies recognising his son as legislature party leader

Thursday 23 March 2006

Special Correspondent

Says it is Speaker who granted recognition to Kumaraswamy

- Mr. Gowda says that a powerful disinformation campaign has been launched against him

- Says he has not approved of the alliance entered into by his son with the BJP

- The party has not withdrawn the order of suspension against rebel MLAs

Bangalore: Janata Dal (Secular) national President H.D. Deve Gowda has categorically denied having recognised his son, H.D. Kumaraswamy, as leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party.

The appointment of M.P. Prakash as President of the State unit of the party is similar to what the Congress has done in the two Houses of Parliament, he told presspersons here on Wednesday.

Mr. Gowda said he has not approved of the alliance entered into by his son with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

However, he said Mr. Kumaraswamy and the MLAs supporting him aligned with the BJP as the Congress was attempting to split the Janata Dal (Secular). The former Prime Minister was reacting to statements attributed to him that he had recognised Mr. Kumaraswamy as the leader of the legislature party. "Who am I to grant recognition to Mr. Kumaraswamy as the leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party. It is for the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to grant such recognition," he said.

He alleged that a powerful disinformation campaign has been launched that he had entered into a secret deal with the BJP to make his son Chief Minister.

Referring to the statement of M.P. Veerendra Kumar, Kerala JD(S) President, seeking his resignation as national President and expulsion from the party, Mr. Gowda said it is unfortunate that he [Mr. Kumar] was carried away by reports in a section of the press, which had misquoted him. "Mr. Veerendra Kumar, my senior party colleague, might have been misled by the media."

Rebel group status

Special Correspondent reports from New Delhi:

The Janata Dal (Secular) on Wednesday denied reports that the party had recognised the rebel group of MLAs led by Mr. Kumaraswamy and said that the status of the group was still that of "suspended" MLAs.

Party Secretary-General and spokesperson, Kunwar Danish Ali, told presspersons that the party has not withdrawn the order of suspension against the rebel MLAs.

"The Disciplinary Action Committee of the party is also looking at the issue of further action of expulsion as per last month’s decision of the National Executive."

Asked about Mr. Veerendra Kumar’s statement seeking Mr. Gowda’s resignation, he said it seemed to have been based on some misinformation.

On whether any action will be taken against Mr. Kumar, he said: "No action is being contemplated". On the confusion over the leadership of the JD(S) Legislature Party in Karnataka, Mr. Ali said that at the press conference at Bangalore on Tuesday on the occasion of declaring M.P. Prakash as President of the Karnataka unit of the party, Mr. Gowda had only mentioned that the Speaker of the Assembly had given a ruling that Mr. Kumaraswamy was the leader of the JD(S)LP.

"As far as the party is concerned, Mr. Prakash is also the Chairman of JD(S) Legislature Party, comprising of both the Houses - the Assembly and the Council. Mr. Gowda has been misquoted. He has not given any green signal for his son."

See online : The Hindu

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