Minister's death, Prasad joining BJP land double blow to Siddu

Minister's death, Prasad joining BJP land double blow to Siddu

Minister's death, Prasad joining BJP land double blow to Siddu
The death of Cooperation Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad comes as a double whammy for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as he has lost a close friend and also his political strategist for Chamarajanagar district. The loss comes close on the heels of Siddaramaiah’s one-time confidant V Srinivas Prasad quitting the Congress and joining the BJP. 

The friendship of Mahadeva Prasad and Siddaramaiah goes back more than two decades. They were in the Janata Dal together and later in the JD(S). Mahadeva Prasad joined the Congress along with Siddaramaiah in 2007. Politically, the Congress finds itself in a void in Gundlupet and Nanjangud Assembly constituencies that were represented by Mahadeva Prasad and Srinivas Prasad respectively and it will be a challenge for Siddaramaiah when the bypolls are announced in these two segments.  
The 58-year-old Mahadeva Prasad, a Lingayat, and Srinivas Prasad, a Dalit, held a sway over the electorate. The Gundlupet Assembly constituency is dominated by Lingayats. Mahadeva Prasad was the lone Lingayat MLA from the erstwhile undivided Mysuru district and had emerged as the voice of his community in that region. He was closely associated with the Suttur Mutt. Mahadeva Prasad and Srinivas Prasad were instrumental in getting the Congress candidate R Dhruvanarayana elected from the Chamarajnagar Lok Sabha constituency in 2014.

In his condolence message, Siddaramaiah acknowledged that Mahadeva Prasad, a five-time MLA, was instrumental in getting Congress candidates elected from all the four Assembly constituencies in Chamarajanagar district in the Assembly polls in 2013. “He was one of my closest friends. His demise is a great loss to me personally,” Siddaramaiah said.

The chief minister, who arrived at the Mysuru airport to pay his last respects to his Cabinet colleague, told reporters that Mahadeva Prasad’s death was unexpected. “I have lost a good friend, both politically and personally.”

“Prasad was an able and  clean politician. His sincerity as well as pro-people work made him popular. For any political party, he was an asset. He served in the Janata Dal, Janata Dal (S) also,” Siddaramaiah recalled. Siddaramaiah said that on December 31, he and Prasad celebrated the New Year.

“For the past 15 years, we used to be together on December 31 to ring in the New Year,” the chief minister said. Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George and Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) B Dayananda accompanied the chief minister.