Legislators from the Janata Dal Secular party of former prime minister H D Devegowda are set to embark on a private tour of Sri Lanka this month to boost the depleted morale within the party ranks following a dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls. All the 40 members of the party in state assembly and a few members of the council will embark on the holiday to Sri Lanka, the president of the state unit of the party H D Kumaraswamy said here on Wednesday.
The Sri Lanka sojourn of the JDS is reportedly being sponsored by real estate baron Kupendra Reddy who is set to become a Rajya Sabha member after he was backed by the JDS.
Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday that the tour to Sri Lanka is intended to rejuvenate the spirits of the party legislators in the light of the media and the opposition portraying the JDS as a political entity that is losing its bearings in the state.
“After the recent elections an impression has been created in the media that the JDS party is down and out. There is no lack of confidence among JDS legislators. We are preparing for bigger challenges including forthcoming legislature sessions and future local elections,” Kumaraswamy said while confirming the trip scheduled to Sri Lanka next week.
The JDS and Kumaraswamy have been drawing criticism over alleged profiteering during the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha polls. Kumaraswamy’s sudden decision to contest from the Chikaballapur Lok Sabha constituency resulting in a victory for the Congress party’s Veerappa Moily following a split in the Vokkaliga community votes between the JDS and BJP has been questioned in the JDS.
The JDS won 40 of the 224 seats in the state assembly polls last year and two of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the recently concluded parliament polls. There are fears in the JDS ranks that some of the party legislators who are upset with the functioning of the leadership might gravitate to the Congress party. The party is however keen to be in a position to win power in local polls to be held next year, according to Kumaraswamy. “We are going to Sri Lanka to discuss the many issues before us,” Kumaraswamy said.