‘Out of Rs. 15 crore BJP had given him to contest election, he pocketed Rs. 10 crore’
Mysore/Mysuru: Reacting to MLC A.H. Vishwanath calling him ‘king of political nomads,’ MP V. Sreenivasa Prasad said he was the ‘king of self-respect’.
Addressing a press meet at a private hotel on Friday, Prasad said that he had joined parties only by invitation and not through application, unlike Vishwanath who had knocked on the doors of political parties seeking entry.
“Vishwanath joined BJP from JD(S) and though intelligence reports and political analysts predicted that he would lose the Hunsur by-poll, he went ahead and contested. Even BJP urged him not to contest as he had poor chances and assured of making him an MLC and then a Minister. Vishwanath was hell-bent on contesting and took Rs. 15 crore from the party. But he spent only Rs. 5 crore and pocketed the rest,” Prasad alleged.
“As a Youth Congress President decades ago, I have helped leaders such as D.K. Shivakumar, Vishwanath, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ramanath Rai. I gave political rebirth to Vishwanath by making efforts to get the Congress party ticket, which he was denied. I played a crucial role in Vishwanath joining the Moily Cabinet,” he said.
Reiterating that he had helped Vishwanath whenever he faced a political crisis, Prasad said he should be indebted to him. “I had called Vishwanath as a political nomad in the backdrop of him meeting leaders of other political parties while being a nominated BJP MLC,” he clarified.
“My entry into politics was by accident when I was forced to contest from K.R. Assembly segment as an independent in 1974. I have come up in politics from grassroots level after being engaged in the ‘Boosa Movement’ of Dalit leader B. Basavalingappa. I was forced to change political parties as major parties split over the years to form smaller and compact outfits. It is my political journey. I am not a party-hopper like Vishwanath, who changed parties and whenever he changed, it was to meet his own selfish ends,” he said.
“Vishwanath is never grateful nor indebted to any leaders who had helped him during crisis. He lashes out at his own friends who have saved his skin. He speaks against any party that welcomes him with open arms. He bites too,” Prasad said in a bitter tone.