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Bengaluru: Unhappy over his removal from the Karnataka cabinet earlier this year, former revenue minister V. Srinivas Prasad resigned as a member of legislative assembly, adding to the growing voices of dissent against chief minister Siddaramaiah.

The Congress party legislator from Nanjangud (Mysuru) is a former Union minister and five-time member of Parliament from the Chamrajnagar Lok Sabha constituency.

Prasad was among the 14 ministers removed from Siddaramaiah’s cabinet in a June reshuffle. Prasad, who said he would not to contest the 2018 elections, has now vowed to seek vengeance by defeating Siddaramaiah.

Siddaramaiah declined to comment.

“All I wanted was a honourable retirement," Prasad told reporters in Bengaluru on Monday, shortly after submitting his resignation to the assembly speaker.

He said a conspiracy by chief minister Siddaramaiah and a syndicate of five other senior leaders to drop him from the cabinet without giving any indication of it had hurt him.

Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (secular) are keen to rope in Prasad and the Dalit vote bank he brings with him. Prasad said he is in touch with both parties, but would be cautious in deciding what he would do in the last leg of electoral politics.

A prominent Dalit leader, Prasad said he had been replaced by first-time MLAs, including Priyank Kharge, son of leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and former Union minister Mallikarjuna Kharge. At least six newly inducted ministers were either sons or relatives of senior leaders.

The reshuffle in June saw the dropping of prominent leaders of the Vokkaliga community—one of the largest vote banks. M.H.Ambareesh, the Kannada actor turned politician from Mandya, was among those who lost their ministerial posts.

After accusing Siddaramaiah of behaving like a dictator, Ambareesh threatened to quit all posts after he was dropped as housing minister.

Only M.Krishnappa, whose supporters took to the streets over their leader’s removal from the cabinet, was later inducted into the cabinet.

The Congress now faces the challenge of quelling the growing voices of dissent ahead of 2018 assembly elections in Karnataka, the last significant state ruled by it.

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