Once again opportunity knocked the door

In 1989 Assembly elections, Congress emerged victorious and Veerendra Patil became Chief Minister. What happened before that?

Prior to the election, I had worked as KPCC President and as Union Minister I had visited all the 224 Assembly segments. I was very popular and there was a talk that I will become the next CM. Some Congress leaders hatched a conspiracy against me. Around the same time, AICC Plenary Session was going on in Chennai. I was on the dais. Friends from Media called me and asked. 'Have you resigned from Ministership?', they asked."No" I said. "Your resignation letter has reached all media offices," they showed my resignation letter. I was shocked. My signature had been forged. I got very upset.

When I returned to the dais, Rajiv Gandhi asked, "What is the matter?" I explained everything to him. "Don't worry Poojary ji. I am with you. Such things are common in politics," he said. But, I continued to be upset as my very own Party men had done this.

After few days, Rajiv Gandhi summoned me. "Poojary ji, do you want to continue as KPCC President? You are holding two posts. Like you, there are only two others. I have already told them to vacate one post. I will announce you as Chief Ministerial candidate, right now" he said."No Sir, you know what kind of conspiracies are being hatched against me inside the Party. I don't want any position. Remove me from KPCC President post also. I will work as an ordinary Party worker," I said. ''Don't you really want to become CM? I will tell you, party will come to power in Karnataka. You have a good name ", he said."I will campaign for the Party sir. But I don't want to become CM. Please excuse me," I said and came out of his office.

This was three months before the 1989 elections and Veerendra Patil became CM after elections.

The success of Loan Mela programme and my work as KPCC President had contributed to Party's victory in 1989. Veerendra Patil, who had contested against Indira Gandhi in Chikkamagaluru Bye Election, became the CM of the Congress Government.

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