Karnataka: Ex BJP minister, mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy announces new party

Gali targeted the Congress party as it led UPA had sent him to jail in illegal mining cases and felt hurt by the turn of events as his own party leaders left him in the lurch.
Former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy
Former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy

BENGALURU: Former Karnataka minister from BJP and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy puts an end to the political suspense as he announced the launch of his own political outfit Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP), which had already been registered with the Election Commission of India sometime back, and declared that he will contest from the Gangavathi assembly constituency in the 2023 assembly polls.

It came as a setback for the BJP leadership especially in Karnataka as the efforts to placate him, as he felt being neglected in the party, went in vain. Former chief minister B S Yediyurappa held talks with him recently.

Reddy will reveal the party's symbol, the flag, who are all joining the party and also also how many assembly constituencies the KRPP is going to contest in the select seats especially in the Kalyana Karnataka region.

Addressing a marathon press conference Reddy clarified that he will not insist his close associate and transport minister B Sriramulu and even his brothers Karunakara Reddy and Somashekara Reddy to join his new party.

Gali targeted the Congress party as it led UPA had sent him to jail in illegal mining cases and felt hurt by the turn of events as his own party leaders left him in the lurch.

"Except for former chief ministers B S Yediyurappa and Jagadish Shettar no one visited my family members and consoled them when I went to jail," he remarked.

"Four years were spent in jail during the UPA regime with chargesheet filed in five different cases, for alleged loss of Rs 1,200 Crore, in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The CBI is still doing investigation, all of a sudden an application filed to send me out of Ballari and who is behind it. But I will come out clean in all cases by the grace of god," he said.

Reddy claimed that he had done a good job by getting the six per cent additional tax on the miners, as the business flourished, through a government order when BSY was the chief minister which all the courts had uplifted. "Now Rs 25,000 crore has been collected, Rs 18,000 alone from Ballari district, which will be spent on the development of Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru districts," he pointed out.

He also claimed that he was bshocked when Union Home Minister Amit Shah disowned him during the 2018 assembly polls.

"In Mysuru he(Shah) had said that I am no longer with the party. But two days later he repented as he had summoned me to New Delhi through B Sriramulu and asked me to work for the latter in the Molakalmuru assembly seat to send a message that I was in the BJP. But he restricted me to Molakalmuru otherwise I would have helped BJP getting more seats", he claimed. He clarified that he tried to contact Shah 4-5 times then but never tried again to make a comeback to the party as reported by the media.

He chronicled the BJP's rise especially in Ballari region since the nineties, late Sushma Swaraj contesting the LS seat unsuccessfully against Sonia Gandhi in 1999, forming the first independent government in the state in 2008 with B S Yediyurappa as the chief minister.

"I had toiled hard keeping my business interests aside, let alone the rivals in the other parties our own party leader left in the lurch. I am a man with self dignity and my wife Laksmi Aruna and the people of Ballari triggered it to launch a political party and hence I am severing my ties with the BJP'' , he declared.

Meanwhile, he revealed that when he was suspended from BJP the incumbent chief minister Basavaraj Bommai met him in the latter's residence and offered to join the JD(U) which he had denied.

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The New Indian Express