Mysuru, DHNS : At a time when the Congress top brass in the State is putting up a massive show of unity ahead of the local body elections, former Union minister Janardhan Poojary struck a discordant note, much to the embarrassment of leaders including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha M Mallikarjun Kharge and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara.
Addressing the gathering during the launch of ‘Gram Swaraj’ meet at the ground opposite Maharaja’s College on Saturday, Poojary said, “There are complaints from party workers that ministers ignore them when they go to meet them. There is also a feeling among the workers that the ministers have developed a negligent attitude. One should understand that it was due to the efforts of the party workers that the party ascended power in the State.”
The party top brass were seen muttering among themselves, obviously concurring that it was uncalled-for. Poojary, who remained oblivious to them, continued and called some ministers in the Cabinet ‘dead wood’ and asked the chief minister to remove them.
“If such non-performing ministers, who show scant concern even towards workers are allowed to continue, the party may not retain power in the next general elections,” he warned.
Poojary called on the party workers to rise from their seats and shout slogans to pledge their support to the party, much to the annoyance of the chief minister and other leaders on the dais.
A section of the workers and also leaders on the dais heeded to his call. The chief minister and Kharge were seen gesturing at the party workers and leaders to sit.
Subsequently, after concluding his speech, Poojary announced that he would be leaving the venue on another engagement. He walked towards Siddaramaiah, flanked by Kharge and Parameshwara, only to be greeted by their cold response.
Later, in his address, Kharge took exception to Poojary’s call to party workers to rise and pledge their support.