Fighting Nandan Nilekani to extend his record winning streak in Lok Sabha polls here, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ananth Kumar says the former Infosys chief has committed "hara-kiri" by fighting on a Congress ticket as the party on Sunday symbolises "corruption and scams".
Asserting that Nilekani has committed a mistake by becoming a Congress candidate from Bangalore South seat here, Kumar said: "He has committed hara-kiri. Today, he represents whatever Congress is representing. Since Congress represents corruption and scams, now he also represents corruption and scams."
The 54-year-old Kumar, who has been elected for a record five times from this constituency, also dismissed suggestions that Nilekani could be at an advantageous position for being a co-founder and former CEO of Bangalore-based Infosys and for having served as the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India.
"The Congress represents economic crisis and price rise, so he (Nilekani) is representing economic crisis and price rise. Today, he represents a weak-kneed government and a weak Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) who is unable to take any decision.
“He today represents all weaknesses of Congress. People also feel that though he had been the chairman of UIDAI, enjoying a position of Cabinet rank, he did not say anything when all the scams were unfolding under this Congress party-led government.
"When problems like inflation and economic slowdown were taking place, he was not doing anything and was only keeping mum. He did not raise his voice at that time," Kumar told PTI. Other than Kumar and Nilekani, more than 20 other candidates are in the fray in this constituency for the Lok Sabha polls, voting for which is to be held on April 17. These include Aam Aadmi Party's Nina Nayak, Ruth Manorama from Janata Dal (Secular) and 12 Independents, among others.
Kumar is a member of BJP's Parliamentary Board and also a National General Secretary of the party. Asked whether Nilekani was in an advantageous position because of Bangalore being an IT hub and he being a former corporate leader, Kumar said: "People recognise him here as a Congress candidate and not as anything other than that.
"He is not a candidate of IT, neither is he a candidate of the corporate world. For people at large, he is a Congress candidate with all the baggage and legacy of that party, such as price rise, economic crisis, corruption, scams, insecurity at the borders, etc. At the first given opportunity, people want to remove this party from the Centre and therefore he (Nilekani) is at a great disadvantage."