BENGALURU: A well-thought-out caste calculus was evident as a new-look team took charge of the state unit of Janata Dal (S) on Thursday: A senior Scheduled Caste leader and former minister H.K. Kumaraswamy was appointed president, late chief minister and backward classes' leader S Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa, was chosen working president, and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's son, Nikhil, was preferred over others to head the youth wing.
JD (S) president H.D. Deve Gowda, who announced the new appointments, said Mr Noor Ahmed will take charge as new working president of the youth wing, and Mr Sharangouda Kandakur, who was instrumental in recording conversations of BJP leaders during 'Operation Kamala', a move which helped save the coalition from an imminent collapse, as general secretary, thus completing the caste calculus of representation for the Scheduled Castes, OBCs, Vokkaligas, minorities and Lingayats at the helm. Former Chikkanayakanahalli MLA Mr C Suresh Babu, belonging to Kuruba community, will continue as president of the state booth committees.
Mr Gowda said Mr Madhu Bangarappa, was appointed working president as he was a "committed worker". He expressed confidence that the new team will help expand the support base of JD (S).
Defending his decision to appoint Mr Nikhil as head of the youth wing, Mr Gowda said the party had decided to appoint Sharangouda as chief of the wing but he declined to take charge while mounting pressure on leaders to assign the task to Mr Nikhil. Soon after taking over as state unit chief from A.H. Vishwanath, Mr Kumaraswamy said the state unit would work in tandem with the CM to strengthen the party. "We will strengthen the team and build the party," he added. Mr Vishwanath, who quit owning moral responsibility for the party's debacle in LS polls, charged that Mr Deve Gowda was cheated by Congress leaders who tricked the former Prime Minister into contesting from Tumakuru.
He questioned Congress leader Siddaramaiah's performance as chairman of the coalition's coordination committee in the light of his failure to announce a Common Minimum Programme of the state government....