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Vaijnath Patil seeks JDLP meet

By Our Special Correspondent

GULBARGA, DEC. 23. The Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Minister, Vaijnath Patil, today stepped up his tirade against the party President, H.D. Deve Gowda, and his son, H.D. Kumaraswamy, Working President of the State unit of the party, and demanded the immediate convening of the Janata Dal Legislature Party (JDLP) meeting to discuss various issues, including the selection of M.A.M. Ramaswamy as the party's candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Patil said that the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, who is also the leader of the JDLP, should immediately convene the meeting to clarify the need for selecting Mr. Ramaswamy, whom he termed as an "outsider."

Mr. Patil said that the party had authorised Mr. Deve Gowda to select the candidate for the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha as many leaders wanted the party nomination.

He charged that Mr. Deve Gowda had misused the authority given to him by selecting an outsider and ignoring those who worked for the party.

"Most of the legislators who voted for Mr. Ramaswamy, including myself, saw his (Mr. Ramaswamy's) face for the first time during the voting," Mr. Patil said.

The JDLP meeting should also discuss the neglect of districts such as Gulbarga in the Ministry expansion.

`Charges wild'

Referring to the statement of the party spokesperson and general secretary, Y.S.V. Datta, calling him (Mr. Patil) a dejected leader and one who is making false charges against the party leaders after he was not accommodated in the Ministry, Mr. Patil said that Mr. Datta is misleading the party workers by making wild charges against him and clarified that he had not raised these issues just because he was denied a ministerial berth.

He said that Mr. Datta, who had spoken to him over telephone, had not made any of these observations during the talk and had chosen to use the media to sully his image.

Referring to the claim of Mr. Datta that Mr. Patil who had praised Mr. Deve Gowda before the Ministry expansion had begun to target the former Prime Minister after he was denied a berth in the Ministry, Mr. Patil said: "Never in my long political career have I praised Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy, although I respect Mr. Deve Gowda as a fighter."

Mr. Patil clarified that he had not opposed the inclusion of party colleague, B.R. Patil or other legislators from the district into the Ministry as claimed by Mr. Datta.

While giving a clean chit to Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Patil said that it was Mr. Deve Gowda who played a key role in the expansion of the Ministry and was solely responsible for denial of ministerial berth to Gulbarga district.

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