Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda has embarked upon an exercise to rejig the State unit of the party.
As the first step, he announced the appointment of the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy as the president of the State unit here on Thursday. A list of eight office-bearers to assist Mr. Kumaraswamy was also made. Mr. Kumaraswamy is taking up the mantle after 16 months.
Mr. Gowda cited examples of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad and others to defend the move. “I don’t know what Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BSP leader Mayawati would have done, if they had children,” he said, pre-empting accusations of dynastic politics by his political detractors.
While some disgruntled leaders have planned to leave the party, accusing Mr. Gowda of taking unilateral decisions, the party chief has called upon political leaders who worked with him in the Janata Parivar since 1978 and are “neutral politically” to return to the JD(S) and support him in providing a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP.
At grassroots level
To revamp the party at the grassroots level, Mr. Gowda has convened a convention of party leaders, former and sitting MLAs, party candidates, who lost Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, and prominent leaders on November 28 to discuss strategies to provide the JD(S) a strong regional party image.
“It is must for office-bearers to enrol maximum members for the party as positions will come at a price,” he said.
Mr. Gowda decided to restructure various wings of the party, including Parliamentary Affairs and Political Affairs Committees, which were dissolved recently.
“Efforts will be made to provide proper representation to all sections of society in party organisations,” he explained.