Vishwanath announces retirement from electoral politics

January 31, 2023 10:13 pm | Updated 10:13 pm IST - HUBBALLI

MLC and former Minister A.H. Vishwanath on Tuesday announced his retirement from electoral politics, saying that he was “economically too weak” to contest Assembly elections. However, he said he would continue to be in politics.

Speaking to presspersons in Hubballi on Tuesday, Mr. Vishwanath said that present-day politics was nothing but money and caste politics, and that only real estate businessmen who were ready to shell ₹10 crore just for tickets would be able to contest elections.

Mr. Vishwanath, former JD(S) president, was among the 17 legislators who quit the Congress and the JD(S) to join the BJP, leading to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in 2019. He subsequently lost the Assembly elections but was nominated by the BJP to the Legislative Council. He was denied a Cabinet berth after the High Court ruled against making a nominated MLC a Minister.

Mr. Vishwanath expressed concern about the ongoing political developments in the State and the low-level talks by the politicians. What was even worse for the democracy was that religious heads had now resorted to agitations and movements over reservation, he said.

He expressed disappointment over ruling parties defending corruption. When Opposition parties levelled corruption charges, they should be respectfully considered and investigated. “But when the 40% commission charges were made, the stand taken by the BJP was condemnable. It is like indirectly saying you did it earlier, we are doing it now,” he said.

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