Mysuru: Former Union Minister and BJP State Unit Vice-President V. Sreenivasa Prasad yesterday said that he has retired from electoral politics and indicated at quitting active politics too.
Speaking at Kalamandira during his book release function, he said, “I have seen six Prime Ministers and five to six Presidents from close quarters and I have vast experience as a Parliamentarian. With these experiences, I have written this book and I have plans to write more books.”
As he announced his plans, Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Devegowda, who was seated in the front row of the audience, stood up and told Prasad that he should not quit active politics. “You must be in active politics and fight against injustice,” he said.
Prasad continued his speech where he said that his experience of losing Nanjangud by-poll was ‘disturbing’. “In my 45-year political career, I had no worries nor did I get upset by by-polls. But the by-election to Nanjangud disturbed me a lot. CM Siddharamaiah misused the government machinery, and spent a lot of money on the election, which helped Congress win the segment,” Prasad said.
Expressing dismay over the manner in which he claimed the CM tried to get him defeated in the by-election, Prasad said, “When we got CM to the Congress, we thought that since he came from a backward community, he would do some good work. But I was shocked when he went all out to defeat me in the election. It was a blatant misuse of power.”
“From the very first elections to the very last one, I have never lost my self-respect. I have not approached anybody for tickets nor have I stood before houses seeking plum posts. I have helped Siddharamaiah when he was in dire straits and was desperate for a political platform. But Siddharamaiah forgot all of that,” he said.
Pointing to an unblemished record in his political career, he said, “There have been no remarks or allegations against me since my entry into politics in 1974. But I was pained by the manner in which I was removed from the Cabinet. At the meeting of the Council of Ministers that was held before I was dropped, my work was appreciated. But, after the meeting, they brought in Priyank Kharge, son of Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge in my place. Is Priyank Kharge more effective than me?” he questioned.
Connection between politics and literature
Senior Kannada littérateur Dr. C.P. Krishnakumar lauded Prasad as a veteran political leader and not just a politician. Presiding over the book release event, he said that literature is close to politics and literature encompasses politics. “Many politicians have taken the literary route to express themselves. Prasad too has adopted the same route and has made a valuable contribution to literature,” he said. “Prasad’s life is transparent and does not have any black spot. Likewise, his language too is lucid and without any confusion. I could read his book in two hours,” he said.
Former MUDA Chairman K.R. Mohan Kumar, senior writer Neelagiri M. Talawar, thinker Mulluru Nanjundaswamy, Nandakumar of Sreenivasa Prasad Abhimani Balaga, former MP A.H. Vishwanath, BJP leaders H.V. Rajeev, advocate Arun Kumar and T.V. Venkatachalashastri were present. Prasaranga’s former Director Prof. C. Naganna compered.
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