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Mining czar brought down to earth in jail

india Updated: Sep 07, 2011 01:05 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das

The story goes that Gali Janardhana Reddy, the former Karnataka BJP minister now in judicial custody, invited a VIP from Hyderabad for breakfast in the mining town of Bellary in Karnataka last year.

Reddy told his guest the idli at a restaurant in Bangalore, 300 km south of Bellary, was good and then flew him in his personal helicopter, Rukmini, to the Karnataka capital for breakfast.

There are several such stories, which could be apocryphal, about the lavish lifestyle of Reddy and his two brothers, mining barons better known as the Bellary brothers.

On Monday, however, the once powerful kingmaker of Karnataka BJP was brought down to earth.

Arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with an illegal mining case, he was made to sleep on a bare cement bunk with half-a-dozen other undertrials at the Chanchalguda Central Jail in Hyderabad.

His brother-in-law BV Srinivas Reddy, managing director of the Obulapuram Mining Company, who was also arrested in the case, shared his fate in jail. Reddy is prisoner number 697 and his brother-in-law 696.

The duo, said a source, did not have the dinner and ate some fruit and biscuits before trying to sleep. Keshav Naidu, superintendent of Chanchalguda prison, said: “They were given regular jail meal comprising rice, dal and vegetables at night. In the morning they had khichdi.”

According to the jail manual, each undertrial is entitled to 600 grams rice, 100 grams dal and 250 grams vegetable curry a day. The mining baron — like other undertrials — will have to stand in queue for food, wash his own plate, clothes and sweep the surroundings.

Karnataka CM, Yeddy meet Gadkari

A day after former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy’s arrest, Karnataka chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda and his predecessor BS Yeddyurappa on Tuesday air-dashed to Nagpur in a special flight to meet BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

The leaders had a closed-door meeting at Gadkari’s house for over two hours. Gadkari and Gowda refused to talk with media on the issue.