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Party leaders to stand by Deve Gowda

Special Correspondent

BCs' meet to be held on September 8

BANGALORE: The Janata Dal (Secular) in the background of the removal of Siddaramaiah, H.C. Mahadevappa and Satish Jharkiholi from the Ministry on Thursday expressed solidarity with the former Prime Minister and President of the party, H.D. Deve Gowda, with all the leaders and legislators vouching that they would stand by their leader.

At the office-bearers meeting of the party, which was the first major event in recent months after trouble erupted within the party, all the top leaders, led by the Finance and Industries Minister, P.G.R. Sindhia, praised the services of Mr. Deve Gowda for the growth of the party. All of them expressed displeasure over the recent developments and said it had come about at a time when the popularity and reach of the party was growing fast.

Seven of the speakers made a moving address at the nearly five-hour meeting. Among them were Mr. Deve Gowda, Mr. Sindhia, the party's Working President, H.D. Kumaraswamy, the party's State unit President, N. Thippanna, the Small Savings and Lotteries Minister, Basavaraj Horatti, the Animal Husbandry Minister, Merajuddin Patel, and A.R. Krishnamurthy from Santhemarahalli constituency who lost the Assembly elections by one vote.

By and large, the view was that Mr. Siddaramaiah, who had done well for the Janata Dal (S), had walked into a trap laid by forces inimical to Mr. Deve Gowda.

Mr. Sindhia said the fact that 53 MLAs and 12 MLCs have stood by Mr. Deve Gowda indicated their respect to the former Prime Minister. The focus now should be to get a majority in the next elections.

Mr. Thippanna said a backward classes and minorities convention would be held in Bangalore on September 8 and the programmes of the party aimed at serving these sections of society would be highlighted.

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