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Karnataka CM’s visit to BJP MP raises eyebrows

Siddu describes meet as courtesy call, but buzz intensified as it came on eve of PM’s visit

Karnataka CMMYSURU: A significant occurrence preceded Prime Minister Modi’s scheduled visit to Mysuru for party campaigning as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah paid a visit to BJP MP V Srinivas Prasad at his residence in Jayalakshmipuram on Saturday morning.

While Siddaramaiah described the visit as a courtesy call to enquire about the health of this longtime associate, its timing stirred apprehension among BJP leaders, recognising the significance of SC and ST votes in the Mysuru region’s electoral dynamics.

Siddaramaiah’s presence in Mysuru was attributed to his participation in the Congress party convention at Bhoothale Grounds in Vidyaranyapuram, part of the Krishnaraja assembly constituency, where he campaigned for party candidate M Lakshmana.

Amid his itinerary, Siddaramaiah, after having lunch at the residence of former minister Geetha Mahadevaprasad in Kuvempunagar, made an impromptu decision to meet his erstwhile colleague-turned-opponent Prasad.

Following his removal from the cabinet, Prasad, a former revenue minister, had accused Siddaramaiah of being responsible for his ministerial dismissal, subsequently leaving the Congress to join the BJP. His grouse with Siddaramaiah was further evidenced in his recently released memoir — ‘Swabhimaniya Nenapugalu’.

Despite previously declaring his retirement from electoral politics, Prasad’s disappointment rose when the saffron party denied ticket to his son-in-law Dr N S Mohan from the Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha seat. While he distanced himself from party activities, his brother Ramaswamy and other family members, along with their supporters, joined the Grand Old Party.

While Siddaramaiah requested his support for Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, Prasad reiterated his political retirement and inability to engage in public campaigns for any candidate. However, he conveyed optimism about the political climate favouring Congress victory in Chamarajanagar.

Regarding PM Modi’s impending visit to Mysuru, Prasad stated that he had not received an invitation from BJP leaders for the convention. “I have not received any invitation for the event from the party nor was I invited by any leader. So I am not attending the event,” he clarified.

In addition to Congress candidates M Lakshmana and Sunil Bose, BJP candidates, along with BJP leaders have visited the residence of Srinivasprasad seeking his support.

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