S.R. Mahesh dares A.H. Vishwanath to take ‘truth test’

Former Minister S.R. Mahesh at a press conference in Mysuru on Monday.

Former Minister S.R. Mahesh at a press conference in Mysuru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Former Minister S.R. Mahesh, who has been at the receiving end of disqualified MLA A.H. Vishwanath’s outbursts, on Monday stuck to the charges he levelled against the veteran politician in the Legislative Assembly recently and even dared him to take a “truth test” in a temple.

Addressing a press conference, he challenged Mr. Vishwanath to deny before Chamundeshwari or the deity of any temple of his choice that he had succumbed to the temptations offered by the BJP to switch sides. “If he is ready, I am also prepared for a truth test and will quit public life and politics if he denies the charges in the temple. You will deny it only if you don’t have a conscience,” Mr. Mahesh said.

Mr. Mahesh and Mr. Vishwanath have locked horns over a reported interaction between the two at the former’s farmhouse on the outskirts of Mysuru a few weeks ago. According to Mr. Mahesh, he called the veteran politician to his farmhouse after learning that he was in touch with independent MLA Shankar, who is also now disqualified, and was exploring the possibility of moving to the BJP.

During the meeting, Mr. Vishwanath had allegedly told Mr. Mahesh that the BJP was ready to offer him money to switch sides, but he did not wish to go. However, Mr. Vishwanath also allegedly asked Mr. Mahesh to clear his burden of loans.

While Mr. Vishwanath, during a press conference on Sunday, denied the charges of succumbing to the BJP’s inducements, Mr. Mahesh asked the veteran to come out with his reasons for camping out in Mumbai and explain whether he was a beneficiary of the saffron party’s largesse.

Mr. Mahesh said Mr. Vishwanath, who likens himself to a village bird, was like a migratory bird that changes its nests from one season to another. On Mr. Vishwanath’s announcement that he would retire from electoral politics, Mr. Mahesh expressed hope that he would change his mind. “It would be best if he contests elections from K.R. Nagar,” he said. During the 2008 Assembly elections, Mr. Vishwanath, who was then with the Congress, was defeated by Mr. Mahesh.

He also asked Mr. Vishwanath to prove him wrong by moving a privilege motion against him in the Assembly, filing a defamation case, or holding a public debate or temple ‘truth test’. “I am ready for anything,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:34:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sr-mahesh-dares-ah-vishwanath-to-take-truth-test/article28827250.ece

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