I was never after power: Hegde

Expelled Congress leader Jayaprakash Hedge cautioned Congress leaders to stop censuring him and, instead, watch him play skillfully in the political brawl that would ensure him victory in the Legislative Council elections.

Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, he said he would not pay heed to the criticism by the Congress leaders. He said he would also not expect the Congress leaders to indulge in cheap politics.

He added that he would rather prefer silence, instead of reacting. However, the propaganda politics will prove detrimental sometimes and it will have a long-lasting impact. In order to inform public over the ongoing propagandist activities by the Congress leaders, he said he has come out with truth. “There is no truth in whatever the so called Congress men are campaigning against me,” he said.

Ruling out any consensus in future with Congress, the former minister said he would remain as an independent all through his career. He added that the Congress men should also concentrate on the differences within themselves and try sorting it out. “Let the Congress leaders introspect themselves,” he said.

Asserting that the only goal at present before him is to win the polls, Hedge said he was never a power monger. He said he wants to serve people and be a part of the development process.

He said he was in Janata Dal and following the party division, he decided to contest as an independent candidate. He added that he enjoys his role in opposition. He said he was asked by the Congress leaders to contest from Kundapur as no one was prepared to take the risk.

Pointing out that the winning spree for the Congress began following his victory in the Lok Sabha by-election, the former MP said that the Congress leaders have forgotten the beginning and are concentrating over the conclusion. Apparently referring to the party’s candidate Prathapchandra Shetty and District In-charge Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, he said the people, who betrayed Congress party, are rewarded.

He said both were involved in the anti-party activities. Shetty had even declined to campaign for the party candidate in the Loksabha polls. He ventured to the cause of Varahi project, when the project was on the verge of partial completion, he said.

Hegde claimed that he has always been committed to the party and he decided to aspire for the ticket after Shetty decided not to contest the election. Even the Congress had not made it clear that the sitting MLC would be given seat. He said he is not worried about the expulsion and added that he is confident of getting more votes than the Congress candidate.

He said he is not worried about the vote sharing as Harikrishna Bantwal decided to contest. “People in both the districts know my work as I was the district in-charge minister of the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada district,” he said.

He added that the voters need not fear for the threatening of the Congress leaders and the votes would not be visible in public. The voters would surely caste preferential votes, he added.

Congress leader Bhujanga Shetty said the Congress leaders would always prefer staying in power if they come to power once. “They don’t want party to grow and also they don’t allow the members to pursue higher positions. These attitudes of Congress leaders have ruined the party,” he alleged.

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