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Media misquoted me, says Deve Gowda

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Mar 22 (UNI) Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) national president H D Deve Gowda today denied media reports that he had recognised his defiant son and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy as the party's leader in the Karnataka Assembly.

Addressing a press conference here, he said ''I only said that Mr Kumaraswamy will be the party's leader in the Assembly as the Speaker has already recognised him. I was misquoted by the media.'' Stating that it was unfair to say he had the power to recognise anybody as the party's leader in the House, he said only the Speaker had the power to decide on it. He had only announced that Mr M P Prakash would be the party's new state president and its leader in both the Houses.

Mr Gowda said the party's national executive had approved the suspension of Mr Kumaraswamy and 39 other party legislators of the state for allegedly going against the party's principle and joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a new government in the state. It had then referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee for further action.

Action would be initiated against the 40 legislators after Disciplinary Committee convener Mr Agarwal returns from his foreign tour, he said, adding that he would abide by the decision of the Committee.

An emotionally-charged Mr Gowda said he did not have to take lessons from anyone on secular credentials and claimed that he would have become the Prime Minister in 1997, if he had then accepted the support extended by BJP. At present no political party could claim it was secular, he added.

He also flayed the Left Parties for criticising him.

UNI MV RG PG BS1941

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