JD(S) 'rebel' legislators' meet begins

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Bangalore, Nov 28 (UNI) The meeting of 'like minded' legislators of Janata Dal (S) called by former Home Minister M P Prakash in the wake of political upheaval in Karnataka began here this evening, even as the party was heading for an ''imminent split'' following its decision to ''topple'' a-week-old BJP-led government on November 19.

Spearheaded by Mr Prakash, who had vehemently criticised the manner in which the JD(S) was being run by its chief H D Deve Gowda and his son former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, the rebel MLAs would decide on the future course of action with both the Congress and the BJP eagerly waiting for the outcome.

In a run up to the meeting, Mr Prakash who had been touring parts of the state after the BJP-led Government fell, had been vociferously criticising the functioning of Mr Gowda and Kumaraswamy.

As many as 30 of the 58 JD(S) legislators were expected to attend today's meeting.

In a surprising turn of events, former Minister N Cheluvarayaswamy, H C Balakrishna, Ms Vijayalakshmi Bandisiddegowda and Suryanarayana Reddy, known to be supporters of Mr Kumaraswamy attended the meeting.

In an attempt to prevent the meeting, held a day before the JD(S) executive scheduled for tomorrow, Mr Gowda met Mr Prakash last night at the latter's residence.

Mr Prakash also held a meeting with Surender Mohan and M P Veerendrakumar, leaders of a JD(S) faction which opposed Mr Gowda, here this afternoon.

UNI

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