The Karnatka chief minister Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday air-dashed to Nagpur by a special flight, along with his mentor and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to meet BJP national president Nitin Gadkari. BJP general secretary and party’s Karnataka-in charge Dharmendra Pradhan accompanied them.
Their visit assumed significance following the arrest of mining czar and MLA G Janardhana Reddy and the resultant political fallout.
Gadkari and the Karanataka leaders discussed the issue in a closed-door meeting at the former’s Mahal residence for over two hours and chalked out a strategy to counter the embarrassment for the party.
Reddy brothers control over 10 party legislators and if the party ditches him, it may well jeopardize the BJP government in Karnataka. Various aspects of the crisis arising out of Reddy’s arrest were discussed at the closed-door meeting, it is learnt.
Reddy, one of the three powerful Reddy brothers of Bellary, was arrested by the CBI in Bellary on Monday and brought to Hyderabad along with his brother-in-law Srinivas Reddy. The CBI reportedly found Rs 3 crore cash and 30 kilos gold from the former minister’s palatial residence.
Gadkari and Gowda refused to talk with media on the issue. Replying to a query from media persons, Pradhan termed the action against Reddy as ‘political vendetta’.
Reacting to AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh’s remarks, he said, "Digvijay Singh is mad. Neither do we take him seriously, nor does his own party."
Digvijay Singh had levelled allegations that the Reddys were running an ‘Unchallenged empire’ and that BJP stalwarts like Sushma Swaraj and Venkaiah Naidu had business ties with the Reddys.
Pradhan said that Digvijay Singh has developed the habit of making dramatic statements that are not take up seriously by anyone including those from his own party.
“It was for the Congress to see what it wishes to do with Digvijay.” He also reiterated Sushma Swaraj's challenge that the Prime Minister himself could enquire into her assets. The PM if he so wishes could also make Digvijay Singh his representative, added Pradhan.
Meanwhile, Pradhan also charged the Congress with using CBI as a political weapon for settling selfish political aims.