Debating India

Karnataka Dalit leader returns to Congress

Friday 22 December 2006

Express nesws service

New Delhi, december 21: After a decade of party hopping and a stint as Union Minister in the NDA government, Karnataka Dalit leader V Sreeniwasa Prasad rejoined the Congress today. Prasad’s return to the party is being seen as a boost to anchoring the minority-backward-Dalit votebank.

Prasad’s entry comes within months of backward leader Siddaramaiah parting ways with the Janata Dal and joining the Congress. Earlier this month, Siddaramaiah retained his Chamundeshwari Assembly seat on the Congress ticket in a by-election that saw Prasad among the campaigners.

I have decided to rejoin the party with which I was associated for more than 22 years,” Prasad said at the AICC headquarters in the presence of party general secretary BK Hariprasad and KPCC chief Mallikarjuna Kharge.

AICC secretary Capt Praveen Dawar said Prasad’s induction into the party was cleared by party chief Sonia Gandhi. Prasad’s name had initially figured in the Tehelka tapes but it was later clarified by the portal that he was not present when money changed hands. Sreeniwasa has represented the Chamrajnagar Lok Sabha constituency five times, four times on Congress ticket and once on JD(U)-Samata Party nomination. He became Union Minister in 1999 during the NDA regime.

See online : The Indian Express

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