Declaring that he was dropped from the state cabinet unceremoniously last July, veteran Congress leader V Srinivasa Prasad joined the BJP on January 2. He was inducted into the party in the presence of Union ministers H.N. Ananth Kumar and D.V. Sadananda Gowda and state party chief B.S. Yeddyurappa.

 

The veteran Dalit leader has represented Nanjangudu (reserved) constituency in Mysuru district since 2008. He was appointed as Revenue Minister in the Siddaramaiah government in May 2013 but was removed during the cabinet reshuffle in July 2016. Consequently, he resigned from the legislature seat and had indicated that he would be joining the BJP. “I was deeply hurt as Siddaramaiah, whom I know for years, dropped me from the cabinet unceremoniously and without even giving a hint,” he said.

 

Before joining the BJP, he claimed to held comprehensive parleys about his decision with his supporters in Nanjangudu, Chamarajanagara and T Narasipura. Prasad said he will contest on the BJP ticket in the Nanjangud assembly by-election in February. “I have joined the BJP to strengthen its presence in the state and help Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the development front,” Prasad told reporters.

 

Hundreds of Prasad’s supporters in the district are also expected to join the BJP and campaign for his victory in the election. Prasad’s defection is a blow to Siddaramaiah as they both hail from the same region. Prasad was elected five times to the Lok Sabha from the Chamarajanagara (reserved) constituency on a Congress ticket from 1980 to 1996.

 

He had previously left the Congress in 1996 and joined the Samata Party and later Janata Dal. Prasad had served as Civil Supplies Minister in Atal Behari Vajpayee’s NDA government (1999–2004). He rejoined the Congress in 2006.

Now Siddaramaiah government is making every effort to appease the voters of Nanjanagudu towards congress

Read: ‘Political’ fund allocation: Nanjanagudu scores over drought-hit areas