BJP wouldn't have come to power at Centre if it was anti-Dalit: Prasad

'I have shifted to a new party, but haven't given up my ideology'

BJP wouldn't have come to power at Centre if it was anti-Dalit: Prasad
The day he officially stepped into the BJP, former minister V Srinivas Prasad on Monday showered praises on the party stating it could not have won the mandate of the people to run the nation if it was “anti-Dalit”. Prasad officially joined the BJP by receiving the party flag from state unit president B S Yeddyurappa in Bengaluru. Prasad also paid the requisite fee of Rs 5 to enrol as a primary member of the BJP. The event portrayed a show of unity among the state BJP leaders with most of the prominent faces including K S Eshwarappa being present.

Speaking on the occasion, Prasad said he has shifted to a new party. But he has not given up his ideology. “The BJP not only emerged as the single largest party but also secured majority on its own in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. This could not have been achieved without the support of Dalits,” he said. Prasad said he joined the BJP as he appreciated and agreed with the “politics of social concern and commitment” practised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Programmes such as Swachh Bharat and Mann Ki Baat appealed to me and I appreciated Modi. This went against me in the Congress,” he added.

‘Not seeking power’
The former Congressman said he did not seek power or position in the BJP but only wanted an assurance from party leaders that his self-respect and dignity will not be hurt.

However, he did not dwell on his prospects in the ensuing bypoll to the Assembly from the Nanjangud constituency. “I quit the seat after consulting my voters. I am contesting the by-election as the BJP candidate as per their wishes. I want a respectable retirement from politics,” he said.

In his continued attack on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Prasad said the chief minister had betrayed him by dropping him from the Cabinet without assigning any reason. He likened Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara to “the headmaster of a deaf and dumb school” for not raising his voice when he was dropped from the Cabinet.

He said senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had remained silent when he was dropped from the Cabinet, so that his son Priyank Kharge could secure a place in the ministry.  

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said that Modi had told him over phone on Monday morning to convey his wishes to Prasad for joining the BJP.

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