MP Pratap Simha’s tirade, sarcasm against Mysuru royal scion catches BJP’s attention

BJP is reportedly preferring Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar to Pratap Simha as its candidate in Mysuru.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Mar 13, 2024 | 9:25 AMUpdatedMar 13, 2024 | 9:25 AM

Pratap Simha with BS Yediyurappa. (File pic/supplied)

The BJP has taken serious note of its Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha’s disparaging comments against the royal Wodeyar family.

Simha made the comments amidst reports that the BJP might prefer royal scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar to the sitting MP as its candidate in the Mysore-Kodagu seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In an apparent bid to pre-empt the party leadership’s move, Simha questioned the Mysuru royals’ contributions to the local development and the land disputes in which they were embroiled. In a social media post on Monday, 11 March, he also referred to the royals’ alleged opposition to carrying out development works.

Following the sarcastic social media comments against the royals, BJP national general secretary and Karnataka in-charge for the Lok Sabha elections Radha Mohandas Agarwal summoned the Mysuru MP on Tuesday, 12 March.

Simha’s public outburst and the summons came even as the BJP’s second list of candidates was soon expected.

Related: BJP candidates list may have some surprises

Simha lists his achievements

The sitting MP made a strong pitch for contesting again from Mysuru.

“With my decade-long track record of developmental initiatives and unwavering commitment to our party’s ideology and organisation, I am confident that the party will give me the ticket,” he told reporters in Mysuru on Tuesday.

He opined that the party should evaluate the tangible contributions of incumbent MPs while deciding the candidates. Simha then played the Hindutva card.

“Regarding my dedication to (the cause of) Hindutva, my record speaks for itself. No one in this region can rival my unwavering commitment to Hindutva,” he said.

The MP claimed that he was the lone voice in south Karnataka that defended the prime minister when the latter came under criticism, even from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “Is this being perceived as my weakness,” he wondered.

“I spearheaded numerous developmental projects, surpassing the achievements of my colleagues. My unwavering response to calls for Hindutva underscores my commitment. What more should I demonstrate to prove my worth,” Simha asked.

Related: BJP may field former Karnataka CMs Jagadish Shettar and Basavaraj Bommai 

Finally, support to Yaduveer

He then pledged support to Yaduveer Wodeyar if the party nominated him as the candidate.

“I am prepared to continue working tirelessly as a dedicated party worker, regardless of the ticket allocation. If Yaduveer receives the ticket, I wholeheartedly accept it and pledge support to him. His decision to transition from palace life to serving the people is commendable,” Simha said.

He then mentioned the royals’ legal disputes. “Legal disputes surrounding the royal family’s properties have hindered the progress of critical infrastructure projects.”

“However, with Yaduveer’s entry into electoral politics, these barriers will be overcome, allowing for the implementation of essential initiatives such as the drinking water scheme for Chamundi Hills,” he further said.

“Yaduveer’s involvement as a people’s representative will facilitate the resolution of disputes and the allocation of land to deserving individuals in various localities. My efforts have secured substantial grants for projects such as the exhibition grounds, which have been impeded by claims from the royal family,” he claimed.

“Yaduveer’s willingness to adhere to protocol and engage with constituents reflects positively on his commitment to public service. I extend my gratitude to state party leaders for their efforts in persuading Yaduveer to join electoral politics and for entrusting him with a party ticket. Their leadership is commendable,” the two-time MP Simha sounded sarcastic.

Related: Protest against Shobha Karandlaje’s candidature in Udupi-Chikmagalur

Simha turns emotional

However, after reports on the BJP high command might favour the royal scion, a visible emotional Simha took to social media.

A teary-eyed Simha expressed his gratitude for the trust and support of the voters who had re-elected him from the Mysore-Kodagu seat, attributing it to his relentless dedication to the welfare of the people of Mysuru during his nearly hour-long live on social networking sites on Monday night.

Reflecting on the historical context, he noted the rarity of incumbent MPs being re-elected in Mysuru Lok Sabha elections since 1989, underscoring the challenges faced by predecessors like Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar.

Addressing accusations regarding his purported failure to groom leaders in Mysuru, Simha defended his record. He blamed the candidates for the BJP’s losses in the 2023 Assembly elections.

He pointed out the BJP’s growth in the Mysore City Corporation to emphasise his role in expanding the party’s presence.

Simha recounted his efforts to develop Mysuru, highlighting significant infrastructure projects such as the introduction of 13 trains, the Mysuru-Bengaluru National Highway upgrade, and the outer peripheral ring road.

He also expressed gratitude to all those people who helped, guided, and monitored him during his formative days in politics.

Simha grabbed headlines last year after two intruders jumped into the Lok Sabha from the visitor’s gallery, raised slogans and opened smoke canisters on 13 December. The MP had issued passes to the intruders, though he reportedly did not know them personally.

He later said that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections would prove if he was a patriot or traitor, an apparent hint that he would win by a huge margin.

Edited by Majnu Babu