The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Wednesday counselled the Reddy brothers in Karnataka to exercise restraint in their campaign against the Congress march to Bellary over the issue of illegal mining, Sangh sources said.
State RSS leaders met Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy here in the backdrop of the rallies he, his brothers and their associate state Health Minister B. Sriramulu are holding in Bellary where the Congress marchers will reach Aug 9 for a public meeting.
The leaders, Jayadev and Mukund, told Reddy that they were particularly unhappy at Sriramulu's statements that there could be trouble in Bellary when the Congress holds its meeting Aug 9, the sources said.
Reddy, his elder brother state Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, the younger brother G. Somashekara Reddy and Sriramulu launched their 'swabhimani yatre' (walk to protect Bellary's name) without consulting Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
Yeddyurappa had shot down Sriramulu's plan for a 'padayatra' (walk) from Bellary to Mysore to counter Congress' Bangalore to Bellary 'nada rakshana nadige' (walk to protect Karnataka).
The Congress began its 320-km march July 25. Covering 20 km a day, the party leaders and workers will converge Aug 9 in Bellary, the political base of the Reddys.
The Congress leaders have been repeatedly saying they apprehend trouble from the supporters of Reddy brothers and Sriramulu when they reach Bellary.
Reddy is reported to have justified launching the rallies in Bellary despite Yeddyurappa disapproving it.
The RSS leaders impressed on Reddy that any law and order problem in Bellary when Congress marchers reach there will be blamed on the Yeddyurappa government and hence he and his supporters should exercise caution.
The Reddys are accused of large-scale illegal mining in Bellary and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. They have denied the allegations.
The Congress launched the long march after Yeddyurappa rejected their demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into illegal mining.