JD-S’ Kumaraswamy meets Sonia, jitters in Third Front (Lead)

May 13th, 2009 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) Former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi here Tuesday evening, giving the jitters to the Left parties, though he maintained his party was not quitting the Third Front.
“I met madame (Gandhi) and discussed the Karnataka political activity,” he told reporters later.

“There is no question of leaving the Third Front. I request the country (constituencies going to polls Wednesday) to vote for the Third Front,” he added.

However, the nearly two-hour long meeting that came just four days ahead of the Lok Sabha results, was percieved as the JD-S getting closer to the Congress.

Late in the evening, Kumarswamy, who is the son of former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, was seen driving into Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence, attempting to avoid mediapersons.

TV channels soon aired the visuals of his car entering the residence with Kumaraswamy apparently trying to cover his face with handkerchief. He told reporters that he was only wiping the sweat off.

The JD-S-Congress meeting is viewed as a jolt to the Left parties, which are trying to form an anti-Congress, anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government after the elections.

It was JD-S, after all, that initiated efforts to form the Third Front by organising a rally at Tumkur, near Bangalore in March.

This would be the second shock for the Left parties. Two days ago, one of the key Third Front parties, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) of K. Chandrasekhar Rao, attended a rally organised by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Ludhiana.

Asked to comment on the meeting, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party was these days holding “informal meetings” with other “secular parties” to form post-poll alliances.

“We welcome all the secular parties,” Singhvi told a TV channel, refusing to give any details about Kumaraswamy’s meeting with Gandhi.

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