Mangaluru: At a time when the Congress party is gearing up for Assembly elections, leaders like Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and former CM Veerappa Moily have come under the scanner in former minister B Janardhan Poojary's autobiography that was released at Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatha Temple on Friday.
Despite being known for his biting comments and straight talk, Poojary has toned down his criticism but has ensured that the facts are placed before the people. In his 208 page autobiography titled Salamelada Sangrama, he provides readers details of his personal life and provides interesting facts on the Congress revisiting some incidents which people were not aware of till now.
“I have noticed that those who got political power because of my effort, are trying to sideline me. They are arrogant and they don’t even invite me for a party programme! I am not invited for the Chief Minister's developmental programmes in the region. The CM travels in front of my house with his team but has no courtesy to stop for some time,” Poojary said expressing his unhappiness over the CM neglecting him, in page 66 of his autobiography.
“Everybody needs to know one thing. Power is not permanent. People will teach a lesson to those who are arrogant. Power is a chance to serve people and not to be arrogant,” he said.
Mr Poojary spoke about how Veerappa Moily became CM and how former PM Indira Gandhi had warned Poojary about Moily. “Moily became CM but he did not have any support of MLAs. If the support of MLAs was considered, then S.M. Krishna would have become Chief Minister,” the book states.
“Moily was close to then Kerala CM K Karunakaran and took his support. Karunakaran was on very good terms with then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. Karunakaran had warned Rao that he would go against Rao if Moily was not made the CM. So Rao agreed to Karunakaran's proposal,” Poojary's book stated.
The veteran leader continued on how Moily was made the opposition leader in the assembly and how Indira Gandhi asked Poojary not to believe Moily. Poojary also recalls an incident when Mrs Gandhi had scolded Moily and the latter had told Poojary that he would quit politics. Finally Poojary spoke to Mrs Gandhi.
“I told her that Moily had made sacrifices for the party and had even mortgaged his wife's Mangalasutra. She (Indira Gandhi) smiled and did not believe my words. However, she told me “Ok you go now,” the book said.
The book has interesting details like how Poojary refused the CM post four times. The first time was in 1984. “I felt that I would be unable to pool the financial resources for organising the party. So I politely denied the offer,” he said. He got similar offers in 1989, 1990 and again in 1992 but he politely declined all the offers.
The book also has details about the ‘vendetta’ of NCP chief Sharad Pawar against actor-politician Sunil Dutt when an AK-47 was found in the latter's house in 1983. Dutt’s son Sanjay, a famous actor, had the gun for his defence but did not have a license. But this issue was used by Pawar to criticise Sunil Dutt who had opposed Pawar's candidature for the CM's post then.
The book has lesser known facts about how Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister. “Sonia Gandhiji was not in support of Rajiv entering politics and becoming PM. She told Rajiv that she had already lost her mother-in-law and brother-in-law and did not want to lose her husband. When Rajiv was to be appointed Prime Minister, Sonia took him into a room and shut the door. While the leaders were waiting for Rajiv outside, Soniaji pleaded with Rajiv not to enter politics. I was witness to this,” he recollected.
Poojary also claims that the actual plan to kill Rajiv was plotted a few days before when Poojary and Rajiv had been to Chennai. However it was postponed, he asserted in the book.
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