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'Siddaramaiah has lost party legislators' confidence'

Press Trust Of India  |  Bangalore 

In the continuing factional struggle, JD(s) working president H D Kumaraswamy today dismissed as "of no value" the legislature party meeting called by rebel leader and deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah here tomorrow, saying he had lost the confidence of party legislators.
After meeting chief minister N Dharam Singh along with senior ministers and JD(S) leaders M P Prakash and P G R Sindhia, he reiterated the decision of the JD(S) legislators taken at a dinner meeting on Monday last, not to attend the meeting called by Siddaramaiah.
The meeting has reportedly decided to remove Siddaramaiah as JD(s) lp leader. "After having lost the legislators' confidence, the meeting has no value," said Kumaraswamy, son of JD(s) supremo H D Devegowda.
Siddaramaiah's strained relations with Gowda took a decisive turn when he defied him and attended a meeting of backward classes, dalits and minorities a fortnight ago at Hubli where he was projected as chief ministerial candidate.
Kumaraswamy reacted angrily to Siddaramaiah's description of the legislators meet held by Gowda loyalists as "a dinner meeting" and retorted that the latter was also elected as JD(s) lp leader at a "dinner meeting only."
He also dismissed Siddaramaiah's contention that the decisions taken at monday's meeting were not in consonance with the party constitution, asserting that "in democracy, it is the majority that is uppermost."
"It is a question of number game. We are also aware of the party constitution. Whatever we do, we will do it within its framework," he said.
Meanwhile, the chief minister said he had not received any letter from the JD(s) leaders (on their decision to remove Siddaramaiah as the JD lp leader).
Emerging from the meeting, Prakash said "nothing has happened", when asked if they had submitted any letter to Singh informing him of the decision of JD(S), which shares power with the Congress.
"We only discussed legislative business," he said. "We have not done anything in a hush-hush manner. We held the meeting (on Monday) at the residence of a minister which the media witnessed. Fifty-two legislators have taken a decision," Kumaraswamy said.
Apparently hitting out at Siddaramaiah, he said "we will expose who was doing things in a hush-hush manner for the last one year."
Going on the offensive, Siddaramaiah had on Tuesday scornfully dismissed the Gowda loyalists' meeting as "a dinner meeting" which was "illegal and invalid" and maintained that he is still the JD LP leader.
He had also blamed Gowda and his son for the ongoing crisis in the party.

First Published: Thu, August 04 2005. 00:00 IST