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Vijay Mallya joins Janata Party
April 14, 2003 21:11 IST
Business tycoon Vijay Mallya, who made a dramatic exit from the Akhila Bharata Janata Dal miffed over being 'isolated' by the party leadership, on Monday joined the Janata Party and took over as its national working president.
"The Janata Party national executive meeting in Bangalore recently offered me the post of national working president, which I accepted," Mallya told PTI in Bangalore.
Mallya is the chairman of the UB business conglomerate and a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Taking potshots at the state ABJD leadership, of which he was the senior national vice-president, he said his efforts to unite the JD(U) and JD(S) had failed, not because of lack of effort on his part, but because there were 'too many people with a personal agenda'.
"Nobody liked to take a firm decision or a firm stand."
"First of all, there was resentment against my appointment as JD(U) vice-president. People did not have the guts to tell (senior leader) Ramakrishna Hegde that they resented my appointment. Neither did they tell me."
"Anything that I was trying to do, five or six people tried to pull me down or undo it," he said on his efforts to unite the Janata Parivar.
As the newly-formed ABJD had problems over getting recognition from the Election Commission, as also the election symbol, Mallya claimed he had 'played a key role in efforts to merge the ABJD with the Janata Party, but in vain'.
Mallya first broached the issue with ABJD president S R Bommai, who gave the go-ahead, subject to Hegde's approval.
After receiving 'Hegde's explicit approval and blessings', he took Swamy to Hegde, who welcomed the former and said, "Let us forget the past."
"I was the one who made Hegde and Subramanian Swamy patch up."
On his future role, Mallya said he would try to 'rekindle the past spirit' of the Janata Party. "I am going to work in all the states."
He said former prime minister and JD(S) president H D Deve Gowda and some state ABJD leaders did try to persuade him to change his decision.
But he clearly told them that he had taken the decision after a 'great deal of deliberation and thought'.
Stating that he was 'hurt' at the resentment of the state JD(U) leadership towards him 'right from day one', Mallya said his decision to join the Dr Subramaniam Swamy-led Janata Party was irrevocable.