K’taka BJP MP turns 75, announces retirement from electoral politics

BJP MP from Karnataka’s Chamarajnagar, V. Srinivasa Prasad, on Friday said that he would retire from electoral politics after his present term completes in 2024.

Celebrating his 75th birthday among his followers in Mysuru, the senior Dalit leader said: “Unlike other politicians who say that they would retire from electoral politics but that day never comes… in my case, this Lok Sabha term will be the last one. I will not contest elections again. I am deep inside very content about my five decade long political journey.”

Prasad added that most of his career was spent with the Congress party but due to “unavoidable circumstances”, he had to quit the party and had to win Lok Sabha elections in 2019 to prove a point.

“Thought of retiring from electoral politics had occurred to me prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections itself but as I said, I wanted to prove a point, that’s why I changed my mind and decided to enter the fray. Now that I have proved what I wanted to, I can retire happily and with utmost content,” he told reporters on the sidelines of his birthday celebrations.

After being dropped from the Siddaramaiah Cabinet in June 2016, Prasad joined the BJP and contested the by-poll to Nanjangud. On losing the battle, he announced his retirement from electoral politics. However, he came under pressure to contest the subsequent Lok Sabha polls from Chamarajanagar in 2019 as a BJP candidate, and won.

Releasing a book about his five decade long political journey titled “Naanu Yedurisida 14 Chunavanegala Avalokana (An analysis of the 14 elections which I fought)”, he said: “I would have retired after my 12th election (2013) had I been allowed to complete my term as the Revenue Minister. That is the one reason that compelled me to contest two more elections thereafter just to prove a point.”

Quoting George Bernard Shaw, Prasad said that he had described politics as the last resort of the scoundrel, “but I am content to state that I see politics as a social commitment nothing else”.

A six-term MP from Chamarajanagar, he had won on a Congress ticket four times (1981 to 1991), on a JD-U ticket once (1999) and on a BJP ticket in 2019. He was also minister of state in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet (1999 to 2004). He was elected as MLA from Nanjangud twice (2008 and 2013).