Bengaluru: It was an emotional farewell. Continuing to call the Congress his mother, former Minister A.H. Vishwanath, who was instrumental in bringing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah into the party, resigned from its primary membership on Friday.
In an emotionally charged letter to Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr G. Parameshwar, Mr Vishwanath refused to make any adverse comments about the party which gave wings to his political career.
Informing the media about his intention to quit the Congress, the veteran leader took a walk from the Press Club to the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office on Queen’s Road to hand over his resignation letter to Dr Parameshwar.
On receiving it, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president said that he had tried to stop Mr Vishwanath from leaving the Congress party, but did not succeed.
Mr Vishwanath’s resignation letter would be forwarded to New Delhi, as he was an All India Congress Committee member, Dr Parameshwar explained.
Earlier, speaking to reporters, Mr Vishwanath recalled his association with Congress leaders like Mrs Indira Gandhi, Devaraj Urs and B. Basavalingappa and the seven books he had published on the Congress’ contribution to the nation.
“Till recently, before migratory birds occupied the Congress nest, the party had patience to hear senior people like me. But the migratory birds started pushing us old timers into a corner,” he lamented, adding that while discussions, debates and criticism were the basis of any democracy, his words were misunterpreted by those in power.
“I have never criticised the Congress party or indulged in any controversies or scams. The fact that I was issued a notice without any valid reason hurt me. I am now in a situation where I have to leave my mother’s house.
“ I am not angry with my mother, but this is not a place anymore for a bird that wants to sing freely,” the former Congress MP said.
Did ex-MP’s advice to Rahul work against him?
He may have been an outspoken, honest and a dedicated Congressman, but no one made an effort to stop him from leaving the party like they did with former Chief Minister, S M Krishna when he left it.
Sources close to Mr Vishwanath believe his advice to AICC vice- president, Rahul Gandhi in 2014 may have worked against him.
At an introspection meeting after the party’s electoral debacle in 2014 with Mr Gandhi he reportedly advised him to touch the feet of very senior leaders like L K Advani and seek their blessings if he happened to meet them, work as Parliamentary Affairs Minister for two years before taking on any bigger responsibility and finally, get married.
In response, Mr Gandhi is said to have stood up and walked out of the room.
That was the last time Mr Vishwanath got to meet the party vice president, sources reveal....