Bengaluru: Hunsur MLA and former Minister A.H. Vishwanath was unanimously appointed as State President of the JD(S) in Bengaluru yesterday. The post was held by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (HDK).
The decision to appoint Vishwanath is seen as a move to dispel criticism that the JD(S) was a ‘Vokkaliga’ and ‘father-son’ party.
The 68-year-old Vishwanath, a prominent Kuruba leader from Mysuru, had quit the Congress in 2017 before joining the JD(S) and won from Hunsur Assembly segment in the May 2018 Assembly polls.
Vishwanath, once a close associate of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddharamaiah, was one of those responsible for Siddharamaiah’s inclusion in the Congress. However, the Kuruba community duo fell out and Vishwanath quit the Congress to join the JD(S) in 2017.
JD(S) Supremo and former PM H.D. Deve Gowda, speaking after making the announcements, said that Vishwanath will be leading the party according to the ‘one man-one post’ principle, which the party has adhered to in the past.
Maintaining that the decision to elevate Vishwanath was taken unanimously, he said that the other office-bearers will also be changed and youth from backward castes and minorities and women will be given priority during the reshuffle.
Stating that party leaders will be touring the districts, where it is weak, to revamp the party, Deve Gowda said that the Executive Committee will be formed within the next 10 days.
Vishwanath’s appointment is crucial at a time when the JD(S) is looking to break out of its ‘South-Karnataka’ only image.
Speaking to press persons after his appointment as the State JD(S) President, Vishwanath said: “The Party has given me a huge responsibility. My priorities are to spread the message of our Government to the people and win as many seats as possible in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.”
‘No truck with Congress for ULBs election’: Even as the JD(S) is running a coalition Government with the Congress, JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda has said the coalition partners, the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress, will contest the forthcoming polls to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) independently and both the parties have come to an agreement in this regard.
“There is no scope for misunderstanding with the Congress over electoral adjustments for the Local Bodies election. The decision to contest independently will not affect the coalition Government,” he said.
Pointing out that there were no problems in contesting the Local Bodies election separately and the Congress leaders too have also said the same, the JD(S) Supremo, however, clarified that there is no confusion about both parties going together for the Lok Sabha polls.