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Cong to invite Gowda for talks

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Sonia at Hyderabad and attended by K'taka CM.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 23:06 IST

Stepping up efforts to save its shaky coalition government in Karnataka, Congress on Monday decided to invite JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda for talks with party President Sonia Gandhi.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi at Hyderabad where she discussed the crisis with top leaders of her party, party sources in Bangalore said.

At the meeting attended by the beleaguered Chief Miniser Dharam Singh, CWC member AK Antoy, Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and KPCC president Mallikarjun Kharge, it was decided that the party should make efforts to defuse the political crisis, sources said.

The meeting felt the need to strengthen "secular forces" and check the growth of BJP, sources said.

However, the sources could not say when the meeting between Sonia Gandhi and Gowda would take place, saying "the JD(S) chief has already been sounded. The date is yet to be finalised".

Gowda had set a rider for meeting Sonia Gandhi, saying "I will go with an open mind for discussions, provided she (Sonia) calls me".

Meanwhile, Gowda on Monday backed his son HD 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.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 22:33 IST