Nanjangud voters scuttle Srinivas Prasad's 'revenge' bid

Nanjangud voters scuttle Srinivas Prasad's 'revenge' bid

Anti-incumbency, lack of support by BJP cadre hurt veteran leader

Nanjangud voters scuttle Srinivas Prasad's 'revenge' bid

The ambition of the former minister, V Srinivas Prasad, to enter the Legislative Assembly only with a fresh mandate from the people was shattered as the voters of Nanjangud Assembly constituency failed to support him, despite his tall claims.

Compared to Siddaramaiah, who entered the electoral politics in 1978, Prasad is a bit senior as he entered in 1974. Besides, Prasad has been MP for five terms and has been Union Minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet. His association with the Congress has been much, much longer. He has also served as the KPCC youth wing president. Siddaramaiah joined the Congress only in 2005.

Since he was dropped from the Cabinet by Siddaramaiah on June 19, 2016, Prasad has been claiming his seniority and has been stating that he has helped the chief minister in his 2005 bypoll from Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency and also later, on several occasions.

His repeated question to Siddaramaiah is ‘When you hinted at a reshuffle of the Cabinet, you said, you would form an effective cabinet. Can you defend how effective is your Cabinet after dropping me and inducting Priyank Kharge?’

Prasad has been stating that he had sought an respectable exit as he had announced that he would not contest any election after the completion of his term in 2018. Claiming that his ‘self-respect’ has been hurt by the action of Siddaramaiah, Prasad has been challenging the chief minister on several occasions on various fronts.

Prasad had even vowed to enter the Assembly only with a fresh mandate from the people of Nanjangud. He held, three conventions of his ‘fans, supporters and well-wishers’ at Nanjangud, T Narsipur and Chamarajanagar after resigning on October 17, 2016, before joining the BJP on January 2.

A BJP councillor in Nanjangud, who declined to be named, said, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa took the election as a challenge and toured the constituency extensively, seeking votes in favour of Prasad. “Many leaders, including Union ministers, campaigned for Prasad. However, due to some reasons, the efforts of Prasad did not match the rest. Anti-incumbency wave would have gone against him,” he said.

A BJP insider said, Prasad had offended the BJP youth wing activists in Nanjangud on several occasions, when they approached him with proposals for the development of the town, which is growing at a fast pace due to rapid industrialisation in the surrounding areas. “The BJP youth wing activists worked against Prasad, despite instructions from the party leaders,” he said.

A councillor, who is among the eight JD(S) councillors who have crossed over to the Congress along with Kalale N Keshavamurthy, who emerged victorious, said, the members of the JD(S) in the constituency stood behind Keshavamurthy, ensuring his victory. “In fact, Keshavamurthy had the blessings of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda. Even Siddaramaiah had discussed the issue with Deve Gowda, to ensure his victory,” he said.

A Congress worker asks, is it not the arrogance of Prasad, when he challenges the chief minister that it is a fight between self-respect and arrogance, attributing ‘arrogance’ to the CM? “Prasad has a superiority complex and he thinks everybody else are inferior to him. Can Prasad list his contributions to Nanjangud constituency as minister for three-and-a-half years?” he asks.

“Surprisingly, District in-charge Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa, who had opposed Keshavamurthy’s entry into the Congress, worked tirelessly for his victory,” the Congress worker added.