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Bellary brothers did their bit to decimate BJP

india Updated: May 08, 2013 23:10 IST
HT Correspondent

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might have singled out the expulsion of BS Yeddyurappa and the ensuing infighting as the reason for its humiliating defeat in Karnataka elections.

But the wrongdoings of Bellary district's Reddy brothers had a major role to play in the debacle.

The three brothers - G Janardhana Reddy, G Karunakara Reddy and G Somashekara Reddy - had a role in catapulting the BJP to power for the first time in Karnataka, as they spent huge amounts of money in the campaigning. But they soon got entangled in controversy.

When the BJP government led by BSY was in a precarious position in mid-2009, he aligned with Janardhana, then an MLC.

The Reddy brothers wanted the ouster of Karnataka minister Shobha Karandlaje and chief secretary VP Baligar.

The BSY obliged and the brothers also obtained ministerial berths for themselves.

Following the Lokayukta report on illegal mining, Janardhana and MLA Karunakara were thrown out of the cabinet along with BSY.

Later Janardhana was arrested following an order by the Supreme Court in an illegal mining scam. He is still behind the bars.

His close friend Sriramulu divorced the BJP and floated the BSR Congress.

Such a tainted legacy rendered the brothers nearly irrelevant in these elections.

Though Karunakara stayed with the BJP and contested from Harapanahalli in Bellary, he was defeated by a Congress candidate.

Somashekara didn't contest at all. But it appears they still have a residual clout in Bellary, as their nephew TH Suresh Babu defeated Independent candidate JN Ganesh from Kampli in the district where the brothers build up their industrial and political fortunes.