Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi
Udupi, Mar 22: MLA and Udupi district in-charge minister Pramod Madhwaraj, one of the key Congress leaders in the state who also holds the sports and fisheries portfolios, was recently in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, he was accused of Rs 193-crore bank loan scam, and secondly, a section of the media reported that he would soon jump the Congress ship to hop over to BJP.
In an exclusive interview with the founder of Daijiworld Group of Media Walter Nandalike, the minister opened up and put an end to all speculations about him leaving the Congress. "I have never said, nor told anyone, that I am leaving Congress or joining BJP. I have never thought about this, nor planned any such thing," he said. On insisting whether it was his final decision or he was still sitting on the fence, he repeated the same words with a smile. He revealed that senior BJP leaders in New Delhi do in fact want him to join their party, but a few local BJP leaders are opposing it.
"BJP wants a minister in the Congress government with a clean image to join the party to better its prospects in Udupi. But I have no such plans," he said.
Asked whether BJP was putting pressure on the income tax department or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by holding some 'business file' related to him, Madhwaraj said, "I have no worries from anyone; I-T department knows that I am the highest taxpayer from the district, and I have a clean record. I am open to investigation by anyone."
Hours after his interview in Daijiworld's Udupi studio, he participated in Rahul Gandhi's road show in Padubidri and made a sharp attack on BJP's central leadership saying 'NaMo stands for 'Namage Mosa' (We are cheated)'.
Further, in the interview, he said that Rahul could not come to Udupi city due to his tight schedule. "But before the elections, we plan to invite him to Udupi and he will participate in similar road shows," Madhwaraj said.
When asked about allegations of Rs 193-crore bank scam, he said, the so-called social activist T J Abraham was misguided by two senior BJP leaders. One BJP senior leader and the other one is a leader who jumped from Congress recently. But both of them were left embarrassed after the bank itself gave a statement on the allegations.
Pramod spoke on various issues like Shiroor Swamiji's political plunge, the election trend in Udupi as well as Karnataka, his developmental works and many other issues.
Watch the full interview telecast on Daijiworld TV on Wednesday March 21 night: