Bengaluru, DHNS: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday took a dig at his long-time political aide-turned-bete-noire V Srinivas Prasad by repeatedly referring to him in the singular.
“If I am arrogant, why did he (Prasad) keep quiet for three years when he was revenue minister in my Cabinet?... I became a bad person soon after he was dropped from the Cabinet. He is also accusing me of letting him down,” he said.
The chief minister was speaking after inducting Kalale Keshavamurthy, who was a prominent JD(S) leader in Nanjangud, into the Congress at the KPCC office. The ruling party is likely to field Keshavamurthy as its candidate against Srinivas Prasad, who recently joined the BJP, for the byelection. The election is necessitated due to the resignation of Prasad as the Congress MLA a few months ago.
Srinivas Prasad, the chief minister added, claims that he was responsible for his (Siddaramaiah)?getting elected to the Assembly many times in the past. “Isn’t it an arrogant statement?...Have I not helped him win elections in the past?” he asked, adding that one cannot win an election without help from everyone.
Siddaramaiah denied that the by-election will actually be a contest between Prasad and him. Prasad had claimed recently that the contest was between him and Siddaramaiah. “I will never contest against him. He is too tall a leader for me to fight against in an election,” he said sarcastically. In the same breath, he advised Prasad not to quit politics if he is defeated in the byelection.
KPCC president G Parameshwara said the by-election result will prove that the Congress has grown in strength over the years. The party will come back to power in the 2018 Assembly elections under Siddaramaiah’s leadership, he added.
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