Karnataka

No bar on me becoming Minister: Vishwanath

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Former Minister A.H. Vishwanath refutes statement by Srinivas Prasad

The former Minister A.H. Vishwanath, among the aspirants for a Ministerial berth in the State government, has clarified that there is no bar on him becoming a Minister.

Reacting to V. Srinivas Prasad, MP, citing an observation by the Supreme Court that disqualified MLAs could become Ministers only if they win in the bypolls, Mr. Vishwanath said he had spoken to Mr. Prasad on the matter.

“I have sent Mr. Prasad a copy of the SC judgement and even had the lawyer arguing our case speak to him,” Mr. Vishwanath told The Hindu on Tuesday.

“Mr. Prasad had been misinformed. He has made such a statement as somebody told him so,” Mr. Vishwanath said.

A Minister, who is neither a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council, has six months to become a member of either of the Houses.

Mr. Vishwanath was among the 17 MLAs who resigned from the coalition government, led by H.D. Kumaraswamy, in July last year leading to its collapse.

He was one of the 15 candidates fielded by the BJP in the December 5 bypolls with a promise to accommodate them in the Ministry.

While 13 of the BJP candidates won, Mr. Vishwanath and MTB Nagaraj lost from Hunsur, and Hoskote respectively. Mr. Vishwanath’s hopes of becoming a Minister appeared to suffer a setback when Mr. Prasad argued that candidates who had lost in the bypolls can’t be accommodated in the Ministry.

Mr. Prasad even cited the Supreme Court ruling which, he claimed, had made victory in the bypolls a pre-requisite for becoming a Minister. Incidentally, Harsh Vardhan, Nanjangud MLA, who is also Mr. Prasad’s son-in-law, had thrown his hat in the ring by staking a claim for a Ministerial berth after the results of the bypolls. It may be mentioned here that Mr. Vishwanath regards Mr. Prasad highly and had even claimed that he would not have joined the BJP had it not been for his invitation.

Soon after resigning from the Assembly in July last year, Mr. Vishwanath had even announced his retirement from electoral politics.

He was to enter the BJP Ministry through the Legislative Council route, according to reliable sources.

But, Mr. Vishwanath did a volte face and decided to contest the bypolls only to lose.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:59:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-bar-on-me-becoming-minister-vishwanath/article30509931.ece

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