Bengaluru: Amid suspense and dilemma in the BJP over its candidate for Bengaluru south constituency, the Congress on Sunday announced fielding its controversial Rajya Sabha member B K Hariprasad from the constituency.
Hariprasad’s staunch loyalty to the party dates from his college days when he was associated with the youth Congress.
“I have completed 40 years of service to the Congress. There was no specific Lok Sabha seat to contest. Party national president Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao decided that I should contest from Bengaluru South seat,”he told reporters after the party announced his name for the seat.
The Bengaluru south Lok Sabha seat is not new for Hariprasad as he was defeated by former union minister Ananth Kumar in 1999.
Exuding confidence about his victory this time, Hariprasad said the circumstances now were different from those of 1999 as things were at present in his favour.
In most likelihood, Hariprasad may have to contest against Ananth Kumar’s widow Tejaswini Ananth Kumar as indicated byPadmanabhanagar MLA and former deputy chief minister R Ashok.
Ashok said the BJP core committee in Karnataka has sent the name of Tejaswini to contest from Bengaluru South constituency.
We sent the name of Tejaswini from Bengaluru South. We are confident that she will be our candidate. I have spoken to our general secretary B Muralidhar Rao. BJP has started campaigning for it,” said Ashok.
Since the BJP has not announced its candidate from this seat, speculation was rife that prime minister Narendra Modi would contest from here. But it was dismissed by Union minister for science and technology Harsh Vardhan as a rumour.
Speaking to reporters at Belagavi in Karnataka Sunday, Vardhan quipped: “I think there is no tax in the country for spreading rumours. I havent even heard it as a rumour. I think I should not comment on rumours.”
Hariprasad had courted controversies recently when he called the Pulwama terror attack a match-fixing between prime minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.
Speaking to reporters on March 7, he had said, “There is a match-fixing between Narendra Modi and Imran Khan, or else this Pulwama incident would not have taken place.”
The basis behind Hariprasad’s apprehension was the undetected 350 kg of RDX used by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber to detonate and kill 40 CRPF Jawans on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier in January, he had mocked BJP national president Amit Shah’s illness when the latter was admitted to the AIIMS for contracting H1N1.
Addressing a meeting in Bengaluru, Hariprasad had said in Kannada that Amit Shah got the ‘swine flu’ because he tried to destabilise the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka.