The war of words between two veteran politicians – BJP’s Lok Sabha MP representing Chamarajanagar V. Srinivas Prasad and BJP MLC A .H. Vishwanath – continued on Friday with the former accusing the latter of being ungrateful to him for the help he had extended to him in his political career.
Addressing a press conference in Mysuru, Mr. Prasad sought to remind Mr .Vishwanath of the help he had extended to him in not only securing Congress party’s nomination to contest the elections, but also the recommendation he made to former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily to induct him (Mr Vishwanath) into his Ministry.
Far from the “king of political nomads” as Mr. Vishwanath had described him, Mr. Prasad said he was a “self-respecting” politician and had quit the Congress due to the “suffocating” circumstances.
Mr. Prasad said Mr. Vishwanath should be grateful even to the BJP, which had nominated him to the Legislative Council even after he lost the by-elections from Hunsur Assembly constituency.
Mr Vishwanath could not be accommodated in the BJP Ministry because of the Supreme Court ruling in the regard. Though Mr. Yediyurappa had promised to nominate him to the Legislative Council and provide him a berth, Mr. Vishwanath insisted on contesting the by-elections and lost. The court had placed restrictions on him becoming a Minister, Mr. Prasad added.
Reacting to Mr. Vishwanath’s charge that he (Mr. Prasad) had pleaded with him to join the BJP, Mr. Prasad said Mr. Vishwanath had voluntarily come forward to join the BJP because of the manner in which he was insulted in the JD(S) after he was unable to give a ticket to the local body elections in K R Nagar taluk to his supporter despite being the party’s state unit president.
He was unable to secure a berth in the JD (S)-Congress coalition government’s Ministry because his party was of the opinion that he had been elected as an MLA from Hunsur only because of JD(S) votes. “He had not brought any of his own votes”, Mr. Prasad claimed.
To a question on Mr. Vishwanath’s charge that the BJP leaders had induced him with money to join the BJP, Mr. Prasad denied any such knowledge, but alleged that Mr. Vishwanath had taken ₹15 crore from the party for the by-elections. “He may have spent only ₹4 to 5 crore and pocketed the remaining ₹10 crore”, Mr Prasad said.
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