Gowda explains why he agreed to JD (S) U-turn

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) Janata Dal (Secular) President H D Deve Gowda, who had strongly opposed the handing over of Chief Ministership to BJP leader B S Yediyurappa early this month, today defended his party's U-turn saying it was necessary to save the party from being decimated by the Congress and erstwhile Janata Dal leaders.

In an informal interaction with newspersons, Mr Gowda said Congress leaders from Karnataka, including Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna and former JD leaders in Congress like Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr R V Deshpande, Mr Rameshkumar had ''conspired to ruin the party'' by using J D (S) leader M P Prakash ''who was using the money power to woo the MLAs to split from the party''.

Although Mr Prakash was negotiating on behalf of the J D (S) Legislature Party, he had assumed ''independent approach'' without keeping the party leadership informed about the discussions, he alleged.

There was no need for him to proceed with the talks when AICC Secretary in charge of Karnataka Affairs had ruled out the need for an alliance with the J D (S).

''When I was convinced that there was an attempt to split the party by the JD leaders in Congress, I gave my consent to the party to go back to the BJP and suppport it,'' Mr Gowda remarked.

He said he was hurt when newspapers portrayed him as a betrayer and there were statewide campaigns against him and his son after the JD (S) refused to hand over power to Mr Yediyurappa.

Mr Gowda said he had recently written to both President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and stressed the need to dissolve the Assembly as attempts were being made to split the party by using Mr Prakash.

''Yesterday, I spoke to Dr Singh and told him that the Congress is out to split the JD (S) and the 2006 situation is being repeated.

And if the Assembly is not immediately dissolved, the split is surely going to happen,'' he said.

Dr Singh said the Bommai judgment may come in the way and he would speak to the Law Ministry in this regard, Mr Gowda added.

UNI

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