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Janata Dal (S) is intact

S. Rajendran

Congress group's mission to engineer split falls through


  • Congress group returns from Delhi
  • `Misadventure' upsets Sonia Gandhi
  • Congress may take disciplinary action
  • Dharam Singh speaks to Sonia Gandhi

    BANGALORE: The attempt by a section of the State Congress leaders to rope in the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, and his supporters into the party over the past few days has reportedly failed, and those behind the move have beaten a hasty retreat. Most of them returned to Bangalore on Tuesday.

    The much-touted meeting between Mr. Siddaramaiah and the former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president, H.D. Deve Gowda, scheduled for Wednesday has been called off.

    Close associates of the Deputy Chief Minister told The Hindu here on Tuesday that it is unfortunate that his name is being dragged into such unnecessary controversies, irrespective of the fact that he, along with the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, H.C. Mahadevappa, is one of the pillars of the Janata Dal (Secular).

    However, there are differences between Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Deve Gowda.

    Busy in Delhi

    The reason for cancelling the meeting between Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr. Siddaramaiah is the latter's engagements in New Delhi.

    He is likely to return to Bangalore either on Wednesday or Thursday evening.

    The first attempt to persuade Mr. Siddaramaiah to shift his loyalties to the Congress was made 10 days ago when Congress leaders, on the pretext of a meeting of Kuruba leaders, told him that his political interests will be protected by the top leaders in New Delhi.

    The exercise was repeated in New Delhi for two days and that has not yielded results.

    Although it is evident that the differences between Mr. Deve Gowda and Mr. Siddaramaiah have remained at the same level, the Siddaramaiah camp has veered around to the fact that it is better placed in the Janata Dal (S) at juncture and it will not be proper to venture into another party.

    The Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, is reported to have viewed the attempt by a section of the party leaders to split the Janata Dal (Secular) seriously.

    The All India Congress Committee, sources said, will initiate disciplinary action against party leaders who were involved in the misadventure. The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, who is in New Delhi, has stayed clear of the parleys with Mr. Siddaramaiah.

    He reportedly spoke to Ms. Sonia Gandhi prior to her departure to Shimla on a holiday, and referred to the attempts to bring about a rift in Janata Dal (S). Sources in the two parties told The Hindu that some Congress leaders misread the displeasure of the Deputy Chief Minister and his followers against Mr. Deve Gowda and his son, H.D. Kumaraswamy.

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