Senior Congress leader and Supreme Court advocate Brijesh Kalappa has ruled himself out of the reckoning for Karnataka's Madikeri seat in the upcoming Assembly election, saying he wants to get the seat "for the right reasons", and not because the party's original choice for the seat, HS Chandramouli, had once represented absconding businessman Mehul Choksi.
Kalappa took to Facebook to post a detailed message, a day after the party put the seat on hold. On Tuesday, party sources had said it would announce its candidate for Madikeri later, following a furore raised by Opposition parties who objected to Chandramouli's pick to contest from the seat because he represented Choksi in an earlier case back in 2016.
Following the Congress' denial of a ticket to him, Kalappa said, he was approached by 2-3 spokespersons from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who claimed to have batted on behalf of him. "I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their genuine concern in the larger interest of collegiality even while belonging to different political parties," he said.
But he turned down the BJP's offer of help, saying he has "complete confidence" in the Congress leadership. "But with the greatest humility, it is not appropriate to take BJP's help to obtain justice in the Congress. I have complete confidence in the Congress and its leadership that it will give me my due in course of time," he added.
But while Kalappa had expressed frustration at having lost his seat to Chandramouli, he insisted that the latter shouldn't be denied the ticket because of his association with Choksi, since it happened way before allegations of financial fraud were leveled against the businessman. "If I appeared for a person, say in 2010, could I be implicated if that person became involved in a crime in 2018? No. It appears that the facts with regards to Chandramouli appearing for Mehul Choksi are much the same," he said.
Choksi, as explained in an article in The Times of India, had retained the services of Chandramouli in 2016 when he was accused of cheating by Bengaluru-based businessman SV Hariprasad. Two years later, Choksi, with his nephew Nirav Modi, was among the accused in a scam related to alleged cheating of the Punjab National Bank to the tune of about $2 billion.
But Kalappa said his conscience wouldn't permit him to accept Congress' ticket if it were to be denied to Chandramouli under the present circumstances. "My conscience would not permit me to be the beneficiary of such a decision. If I am to get my due, it has to be for the right reasons, not by misapplication of professional ethics on a fellow lawyer," he wrote on Facebook.
Read the full text of Kalappa's post:
Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 10:47 AM