25 defiant JD(S) legislators to boycott tomorrow's meet

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Bangalore, Nov 28 (UNI) The Janata Dal(S) in Karnataka was heading for a split as over 25 legislators with dissident leader M P Prakash have decided to boycott party's State Executive Party meeting convened by party supremo H D Deve Gowda.

Briefing newspersons after the meeting of 'like minded' legislators Mr Prakash said ''it was unanimously decided to stay away from tomorrow's meeting.'' He said all the members who attended made an introspection over the developments which took place in the party where there was no scope for any internal democracy. He said to re-establish internal democracy and put an end to ''autocracy'' in the party it was decided to convene another meeting next week.

Strongly defending his action to convene the meeting, Mr Prakash said it was not aimed to destabilise the party base but to reinforce its strength.

He said there were general feelings that certain decisions taken by Mr Gowda and his son former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy have dented the image of the party.

Admitting that everybody was responsible for the sorry status of the party which it was witnessing now, Mr Prakash said ''today's meeting was an attempt to save the party and to redeem it from the clutches of a few people.'' Taking a defiant stand against Mr Gowda, Mr Prakash dubbed tomorrow's meeting convened by the latter as a 'public meeting' and can not be considered as the state executive. ''In public meeting it would be difficult to raise any basic issues pertaining to party.'' Mr Prakash said as many as 17 legislators were present in today's meeting and another five while expressing their inability to attend have extended their support. Three members of the Legislative Council also had turned up, he added.

Another senior leader and former minister Chaluvarayaswamy, who spoke on the occasion, reiterated that the meeting was convened not to break or split the party but only to save it. ''We are also not against Mr Gowda'' he added.

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