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Congress invites Gowda for talks with Sonia
January 24, 2006 00:28 IST
Stepping up efforts to save its shaky coalition government in Karnataka, the Congress on Monday decided to invite Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda for talks with party president Sonia Gandhi to defuse the political crisis, party sources said.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi in Hyderabad, where she discussed the crisis with top leaders of her party, Congress sources told PTI from Hyderabad.
At the meeting attended by the beleaguered Chief Minister Dharam Singh, Congress Working Committee member A K Antoy, who is in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Mallikarjun Kharge, it was decided that the party should make efforts to save the coalition government, sources said.
The meeting felt the need to strengthen 'secular forces' and check the growth of the Bharatiya Janata Party, sources said.
However, they could not say when the meeting between Sonia Gandhi and Gowda would take place, saying 'the
Gowda had set a rider for meeting Sonia, saying "I will go with an open mind for discussions, provided she (Sonia) calls me."
Meanwhile, Gowda on Monday backed his son H D Kumaraswamy, whose action in withdrawing support to the government has brought it to the brink of collapse, saying he had taken certain decisions 'in the interest of the party and to save JD(S)'.
Kumaraswamy rushed from Goa to hold parleys with his father on Monday.
Complete coverage: The Karnataka coalition's fall