Bengaluru: Afer all the talk about the party opting for a woman or a candidate who could woo the backward classes, Janata Dal (S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda has chosen his son, former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy as president of the Janata Dal (S) in the state.
Announcing his appointment and the new office- bearers of the party here on Thursday, Mr Gowda however claimed that the Janata Dal (S) was not a ‘father-son' party as it was branded.
“It is not like we have taken a unilateral decision to make Mr Kumaraswamy the party state president. We have weighed the options and held discussions with all the leaders.
Though it was agreed to give representation to all communities, our leaders wanted Mr Kumaraswamy as party president,'' he said, contending, “Our rivals have nothing else to say against us.
I can give you several examples from around the country, but only our party is being branded in this manner. How many families are into politics in the country? I don't know what the Prime Minister or even Mayawati would have done if they had children. There is a whispering campaign against the JD(S).''
Reiterating that the party was here to stay, he said the people would decide if there was a need for a regional outfit in the state or not.
Mr Gowda said he was holding a meeting of all office bearers, legislators and candidates who had contested the last Assembly elections, at the Palace Grounds on November 28.
“Those who are inactive are also welcome. We need to organise the party. All the leaders will be asked to go on a membership drive in their respective constituencies.
It should start from Ramanagar, the party president's constituency. Those who fail to go on a membership drive will be shown the door,'' he warned.
The party has appointed the present acting president , Narayan Rao as the new working president, Mr Mahanthesh Patil and Mr Amarnath Shetty as vice presidents, Shimoga rural MLA ,Sharada Puryanaik and Mr Dinakar Setty as general secretaries, and Ms Meenakshi Nandeesh and Dr Riyaz Farooq as secretries. Mr Ramesh Babu is the party's new spokesperson.