Former MUDA Chairman C. Basavegowda joins Congress camp ‘unconditionally’
Mysore/Mysuru: Former Chairman of Mysuru Urban Development Authority C. Basavegowda has alleged that a senior leader like Chamarajanagar MP V. Sreenivasa Prasad is being treated shabbily by the BJP and his words have no value in that party.
Addressing reporters at Congress Bhavan yesterday, Basavegowda alleged that the BJP has scant respect for Sreenivasa Prasad. Notably, Basavegowda, a staunch supporter of Sreenivasa Prasad has joined Congress and is supporting former CM Siddharamaiah in Varuna Constituency. He was felicitated by the district and city party unit leaders for joining the Congress.
“Sreenivasa Prasad had turned down the offer to become a Governor after he joined the BJP leaving the Congress. He contested the last Lok Sabha elections since his supporters wanted him to retire from politics after an electoral victory and even Prasad wanted to do so,” he said.
“In a changed political scenario in those days, I had to join BJP but now I am back in Congress now, my parent party. Sreenivasa Prasad tried his best to give me a party position in the BJP but the BJP had scant respect for him. The BJP must remember that Sreenivasa Prasad won the Lok Sabha elections from Chamarajanagar against the Congress as he had a good rapport with the people of Chamarajanagar who respected his stature. Otherwise, winning against the Congress there was difficult,” he said.
“Though Sreenivasa Prasad tried his best to get some party posts, the BJP did not consider his request. He wanted to get me the post of Chairman of a Board or Corporation and I met the Chief Minister twice in this connection. I also tried to contest the MLC elections as a BJP candidate but MP Pratap Simha behaved as though I am incapable of fighting elections,” Basavegowda lashed out.
“However, the BJP made Raghu Kautilya the Chairman of Mysuru Paints and Varnish Limited and gave him a Cabinet Minister’s rank though he lost the MLC elections. If this is not dishonour, then what is? I stopped asking for any posts after that. Even Sreenivasa Prasad is miffed at the BJP for side-lining me,” he said.
Training his guns on Pratap Simha, Basavegowda said, “The MP ignored me after considering me as a strength in Varuna when V. Somanna was fielded against Siddharamaiah. Simha even advised me against meeting Siddharamaiah, who came to my house seeking support,” he charged.
On the present equation between him and Sreenivasa Prasad, Basavegowda said that he is still a friend of Sreenivasa Prasad. “When I expressed my wish to join the Congress, he suggested that I decide according to my conscience and future. My friendship with him will continue,” he said.
Basavegowda claimed that he has joined Congress unconditionally. “I joined the Congress because of my friendship and on the assurance of Siddharamaiah. In the past too, I went with Sreenivasa Prasad and joined the BJP unconditionally and then too, friendship was the reason,” he said. District Congress President Dr. B.J. Vijay Kumar, City Congress President R. Murthy and others were present.
‘Dividing people in Varuna’
On the BJP’s campaign strategy in Varuna, Basavegowda said that the BJP was trying to spread hatred and disturb harmony among the communities, raising caste issues.
“MP Pratap Simha has been tasked by the BJP to whip up passions and raise caste issues in Varuna. It is Pratap Simha who is spreading lies about Siddharamaiah that he is against Lingayats,” he said.
“It was Siddharamaiah who supported leaders belonging to all communities to grow politically and leaders belonging to all communities are with Siddharamaiah. Pratap Simha is trying to divide the equation and spread hatred in order to ensure the victory of BJP candidate Somanna in Varuna,” he added.
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