Bengaluru: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Thursday announced appointment of his son H D Kumaraswamy as President of the JDS state unit, even as he acknowledged there was a need to dispel the impression that his was a "father-son party."
Gowda, who has come under constant attack over his family maintaining a stranglehold over JDS, defended the appointment of Kumaraswamy, a former Chief Minister who is under pressure in recent weeks to play a more active role.
It was a "big tragedy" that JDS was being labelled "father-son party" in Karnataka, Gowda said.
"Aren't father and their children in the same party in other states?, the JDS chief asked." If Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal Chief Minister) and Mayawati (BSP leader) had children, what would they have done?, he said, hitting back at the detractors who accuse him of promoting dynastic politics.
The state unit president's post was lying vacant for the past seven months following the death of A Krishnappa due to heart attack on April 23. He was party candidate for Tumkur Lok Sabha seat. The backward classes leader had assumed the charge in September last year.
The decision to appoint Kumaraswamy was taken at a high-level meeting of party state office-bearers, legislators, district unit presidents and former legislators held here in which Gowda took part.
This is not the first time Kumaraswamy is holding the post. He was appointed as the JDS president in 2008 after the death of Meerajuddin Patel.
Kumaraswamy had quit the post following the party's defeat in last year's August 21 bypolls to Bengaluru Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha seats, considered the party's bastion.
Gowda also announced apointments of Mahantesh Patil and Amarnath Shetty as Vice Presidents, Sharada Purya Nayak, Dinakar Shetty (Gneral Secretaries) and Meenakshi Naneesh and Dr Riaz Farooq (Secretaries).
Assuming the charge, Kumraswamy said he would make all efforts to build the party and take up farmers' issues.
In 2013, he resigned from the Lok Sabha after winning election to the Karnataka Assembly in which his party emerged the second largest in terms of vote share percentage.