Karnataka

‘Truth test’ challenge: Stage set for confrontation between Vishwanath and S.R. Mahesh atop Chamundi Hills

Former Minister for Tourism and Sericulture S.R. Mahesh (Centre).

Former Minister for Tourism and Sericulture S.R. Mahesh (Centre).   | Photo Credit: B. Mahadeva

The proposed truth test at Chamundeshwari temple in Mysuru on Thursday is reminiscent of the much-hyped truth test in June 2011 between H.D. Kumaraswamy and B.S. Yediyurappa.

With former Minister S.R. Mahesh declaring that he will turn up before the deity of Chamundeshwari atop Chamundi Hills on Thursday morning in response to a challenge posed by his bête noire and former Minister A.H. Vishwanath, the stage appears set for a confrontation between the two leaders over a “truth test” on charges of bribery.

Mr. Mahesh, a close confidante of JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, had accused Mr. Vishwanath of accepting a bribe in return for resigning as JD(S) MLA representing Hunsur to facilitate the installation of the BJP Government in the State.

He had dared Mr. Vishwanath to swear before Goddess Chamundeshwari that he had not fallen to the inducements offered by the BJP to switch sides. Mr. Vishwanath, however, counter-challenged Mr Mahesh to bring before the deity on Thursday the “buyer”, who had paid the alleged bribe amount of ₹25 crore to him, and prove the charges.

The proposed truth test at Chamundeshwari temple in Mysuru on Thursday is reminiscent of the much-hyped truth test in June 2011 between Mr. Kumaraswamy and the then Chief Minister Yediyurappa over charges of corruption and nepotism at Sri Manjunatheshwara temple in Dharmasthala. Eventually, the truth test was called off after Mr. Yediyurappa backed out two days before the anticipated face-off in Dharmasthala.

Former MP A.H. Vishwanath.

Former MP A.H. Vishwanath.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Also read | From mudslinging to ‘truth test’ before God, the JD(S) way

In the truth test involving Mr. Mahesh and Mr. Vishwanath at Chamundeshwari temple, the two leaders have agreed on the date, but they continue to differ on the terms of the challenge each had posed to the other.

Mr. Vishwanath, who had rejected Mr. Mahesh’s challenge to take a pledge before the deity that neither he nor his family members had fallen for the inducements offered by the BJP, had instead dared the JD(S) leader to bring his “buyer”. “You should come with the buyer or else you will be proved wrong”, Mr. Vishwanath had said.

But, Mr. Mahesh told reporters in Mysuru on Wednesday he was going to the temple only to see if Mr. Vishwanath takes the pledge that he had dared him to.

It remains to be seen if the two leaders, who have been at daggers drawn with each other, will come face to face at Chamundeshwari temple atop Chamundi Hills on Thursday.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 11:40:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/truth-test-challenge-stage-set-for-confrontation-between-vishwanath-and-sr-mahesh-atop-chamundi-hills/article29699395.ece

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