Pic: Spoorthi Ullal

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (ANK/RJP)

Mangaluru, Jan 1: Journalists took BJP leader Harikrishna Bantwal to task here on Monday, January 1 over the issue of differences between Janardhan Poojary and Ramanath Rai.

In the press meet earlier, Harikrishna Bantwal challenged district in-charge minister Ramanath Rai to take a vow at Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala and prove that he did not ‘abuse’ senior Congressman Janardhana Poojary.

Harikrishna Bantwal said, "Ramanath Rai had abused senior Congress leader Janardhana Poojary during a wedding function at Suratkal in the presence of Congress leaders Arun Coelho and Tejas. Janardhana Poojary was in tears while he recalled the incident. Even Rai was in tears denying the same. Rai shed crocodile tears in fear of losing the forthcoming elections. Poojary was in tears at a holy place and Poojary cannot lie,”

“Even opposition leaders like Nalin Kumar Kateel seek blessings of Poojary, but Rai never does that. I am not a slave or disciple of Poojary, but I respect him. I had earlier called Rai to take a vow at Dharmasthala temple, but he failed to turn up. So today, I again challenge Rai for the second time to take a vow at Dharmasthala temple,” he added.

“Rai has grabbed 3.5 acre of land illegally on his wife’s name. He has also stalled the midday meals to Kalladka School. Rai himself had written a letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asking to stall the midday meals to Kalladka School. Ramanath Rai is known for cheating and lying,” Bantwal said.

After his briefing Journalists took Harikrishna Bantwal to task. They asked openly why he kept on mentioning the issue of Janardhana Poojary and Ramanatha Rai again and again.

“When you were in Congress, you did not make it an issue. But after joining BJP, you are blowing it up. Is it not only an issue between two Congress leaders?” they asked.Harikrishna tried his best to avoid the questions, but journalists insisted that he should stop mentioning about taking vow at Dharmasthala and use the issue for his political gain.

Heated conversation took place between Harikrishna Bantwal and journalists and the former did not have any proper answers for the questions posed. He kept on insisting that he was right in taking up the issue.


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