Karnataka: Miffed AH Vishwanath to join JD(S) in June

2018 will be my last assembly elections and I am planning to contest from Hunsur, says veteran leader.

Bengaluru: Disgusted over the ‘happenings’ in the Congress Party, ex-minister and former Mysuru MP H. Vishwanath has made up his mind to join the Janata Dal (Secular) in the first week of June.

“I am already 69 years old and the 2018 Assembly elections will be my last poll. I would like to have a decent retirement after three decades in active politics. I am planning to contest from Hunsur Assembly constituency on a JD(S) ticket,” Vishwanath told Deccan Chronicle.

“Having spent almost my entire political career in the Congress, I was optimistic that things would be set right by the high command. I did not want to continue in a party which has no respect for seniors. The party will have to pay a heavy price in the coming general elections,” he warned.

Mr Vishwanath said his plea to bring in changes in the party organisation especially in the Karnataka unit would not reach the high command. The newly-appointed All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal was a good man but his suggestions would not be considered by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

The situation in the Karnataka unit is beyond repair with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his coterie calling the shots. Original Congressmen have been totally sidelined and have become voiceless, he said.

“My statement against the Chief Minister is considered as an act of indiscipline for which I was kept away from the poll campaign during the recent bypolls. The victory in the two constituencies has made Siddaramaiah an 'autocrat' who I not ready to listen anyone. I did not know how long it will continue.”

The former minister said he was invited by the BJP and JD(S) but he chose the latter because of its secular image. The national president of JD(S) H.D. Deve Gowda and state president H.D. Kumaraswamy had agreed to give him the Hunsur ticket in 2018. Many senior Congress leaders had tried to make him change his decision but he had already made up his mind to make a decent exit from the party. In all probability, he may tender his resignation from the primary membership of the Congress in the last week of the month and join JD(S) in the first week of June.

Belagavi Cong MLA Satish Jarkiholi in BJP fold soon?
Sources said Mr Vishwanath had held a meeting with former minister and Congress MLA from Belagavi, Satish Jarkiholi who according to him, may embrace the Bharatiya Janata Party which is strong in Mumbai-Karnataka.
Satish Jarkiholi is upset over the interference of State Congress women’s wing chairperson Lakshmi Hebbalkar and Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar in district Congress affairs. He is planning to join the saffron party since Janata Dal (Secular) does not have a strong base in the region. The meeting between Vishwanath and Satish Jarkiholi took place at the guest house of University of Mysuru last week which lasted for about two hours, the sources added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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