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Mallya drops merger dream

Bangalore, April 14: Liquor baron and Rajya Sabha member Vijay Mallya formally gave up his plans today to merge the various factions of the Janata Dal and the Janata Party and take over as the chief of the new political entity. The business tycoon had been working on this strategy for the past one month, but today admitted that he had failed.

The day also marked Mallya’s detachment from the organisational structure of the Janata Dal in Karnataka. He told the media that he has joined the Janata Party and has taken over as its new national president.

“The Janata Party national executive meeting in Bangalore recently offered the post of president to me. I have conveyed formal acceptance of the post and am now its president,” Mallya said.

Expressing his “hurt” at the resentment of the state leadership of various Dal factions towards him “right from day one”, Mallya said his decision to join Dr Subramanian Swamy’s Janata Party was irrevocable.

He said former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Deve Gowda and some state leaders of the recently formed Akhil Bharatiya Janata Dal had tried to persuade him to change his mind. But he told them clearly that he had taken the decision after a “great deal of deliberation and thought”.

Indications are that Gowda had in the past one week turned state leaders of the various Dal factions against Mallya, highlighting the liquor baron’s lack of political experience.

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