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India

Kumaraswamy returns, JD-S holds parleys on rebels quitting

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy returned to the city on Sunday night from a week-long private visit to the US and held parleys with the ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leaders on the party’s three MLAs resigning along with nine Congress rebels on Saturday, a party official said.

The resignations have created a crisis of survival for the state’s Congress-Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) coalition government.

“Kumaraswamy returned from the US to New Delhi in the evening by an Air India flight and flew to Bengaluru in a chartered aircraft with two other JD-S Cabinet ministers,” party spokesman Ramesh Babu told IANS here.

The Chief Minister then drove to a hotel in the city and discussed the crisis arising out of the rebels’ resignation with party supremo and his father H.D. Deve Gowda and other leaders, including state PWD Minister and his elder brother H.D. Revenna.

On Monday, Kumaraswamy will hold talks with Congress leaders, including its state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao to resolve the crisis threatening the year-old coalition government.

Though Deve Gowda advised Kumaraswamy to wait for Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar’s decision on the resignations, others want him to call the party rebels back from Mumbai and ask them to withdraw their resignations before the Speaker acts on them.

“Our three rebel legislators (A.H. Vishwanath, Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda) did not tell our leaders what were their concerns or demands all these months. Suddenly, they joined the Congress rebels and resigned without informing even Deve Gowda” said Babu.

JD-S Ministers G.T. Deve Gowda, C.S. Puttaraju and Sa Ra Mahesh have offered to resign so that the party’s three rebels can be pacified and inducted in a Cabinet reshuffle.

“Kumaraswamy will discuss with the Congress leaders if it will also induct some of its rebels in the 34-member Cabinet ministry by dropping an equal number of its ministers,” Babu added.

(IANS)

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World

US Indian community holds anti-terror protests at Pakistani, Chinese consulates

Members of the Indian community have held protests outside the Pakistani consulates in New York and Chicago to condemn the February 14 Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers.

In New York on Friday, the police stopped 400 protesters from approaching the consulate building and cordoned them off next to Central Park, across the avenue.

They protested peacefully for over two hours shouting “Vande Mataram” and “God Bless America” along with slogans denouncing Pakistan’s support for terrorism.

A delegation went to the consulate to handover a memorandum demanding “credible and visible” action against the perpetrators of the Pulwama carnage that was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 163 lives.

Overseas Friends of BJP-USA (OFBJP) President Krishna Reddy Anugula said that the diplomats at the consulate refused to accept the memorandum, which also asked for freedom for Kulbhushan Jadav, who has been sentenced by a Pakistani military court as a spy, and for handing over JeM chief Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted for 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai, to India.

On Thursday, community members held a demonstration at the Chinese consulate in Chicago against Beijing’s policy of protecting JAzhar from UN sanctions through its veto powers.

Jagdish Sewhani, the president of the American India Public Affairs Committee, and one of the organisers of the New York protest, said that his group was organising a nation-wide outreach campaign to members of Congress to sponsor legislation against Pakistan’s support for terrorism.

Members of his group and other Indians have been asked to call on their legislators or write to them seeking action against Islamabad, he said.

The Federation of Indian Associations organised a candle-light vigil in Woodbridge, Virginia, on Thursday to honour the Pulwama victims.

About 600 people, including Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac Councilwoman Nancy Drumm, attended the vigil.

Earlier in the week, OFBJP organised the screening of Bollywood film “Uri” to raise awareness of terrorism in the sub-continent. .

Across the US, Indian communities have held vigils and prayer services for the victims, including in Atlanta, Georgia; Naperville, Illinois; Sacramento, California’ and Houston, Stafford and Woodlands in Texas.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

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IANS