Bellary stings continue-Sriramulu out of BJP
As expected the Bellary woes for the BJP have come back to bite it once again. Sriramulu, the closest aide of the Reddy brothers ofBellaryhas decided to contest theBellaryrural by elections as an independent candidate which makes him a former leader of the BJP.
While making this announcement he told the media that this is nothing but a battle for self pride. The manner in which I have been treated by the party has been insulting for me. The treatment has been crude and I do not think any of us fromBellarydeserved this treatment. I can never compromise with my self respect and pride at any cost. The Lokayukta report against me has been nothing but unfair. Since I am not getting justice anywhere, I will go to the peoples’ court and seek justice, he also said.
This is big trouble for the BJP since they are likely to lose their strong hold inBellarywhich was controlled by the Reddy brothers. Although technically the Reddy brothers-Janardhan, Karunakar and Somashekhar are still in the BJP, it is an open secret that Sriramulu would not even take a small decision unless and until he has their blessings.
Sriramulu in fact had made a visit toHyderabadwhere he met with Janardhan Reddy at the Chanchalgudda jail before he could make this decision. During that discussion the two discussed all these aspects and only then did Sriramulu come to the conclusion that he would contest as an independent. Sriramulu has always considered the Reddy brothers to be his mentor/brother.
The battle between Sriramulu and the BJP has been on for quite a while now. Almost two months back he had resigned as an MLA of the party and stated that he would come out clean. Political observers said that the idea was to float a regional party with the Reddy’s and then enter into a tie up with Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh which in turn would mean that they would control the Reddy vote bank on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border areas. However a day after he announced that Janardhan Reddy was arrested and their plans had to be put on hold.
Since then there has been a tug of war between the BJP and the Reddy brothers. A couple of days back, the BJP offered him a ticket, but Sriramulu had said that he would contest on a BJP ticket and in case he won the seat, he should be given a cabinet berth. Sriramulu had been kept out of the cabinet after the Lokayukta report. He told his party that if this demand of his is not met then he would contest as an independent.
The BJP leadership decided to stay firm and said that at any cost he or the Reddys would not be given a cabinet report in the wake of the Lokayukta report indicting all of them including Sriramulu. The BJP leadership in Karnataka is already involved in a series of meetings to discuss the new development and a decision on the same is expected later during the day.