Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

Janardhana Reddy, Out On Bail, Can't Go To Ballari To Campaign For BJP: Supreme Court

G Janardhana Reddy has been barred from entering Ballari, in accordance with his bail conditions in the illegal mining case.

File Photo

The Supreme Court today dismissed the plea  of illegal mining scam tainted G Janardhan Reddy for letting him go to Ballari to campaign for his brother, who is a BJP candidate for the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka.

The top court found no merit in the plea and dismissed it.

The BJP gave tickets to the Reddy brothers embroiled in Rs 50,000 crore illegal mining scandal.  Two of the three infamous Reddy brothers were given tickets from Harapanahalli and Ballari constituencies. 

“BJP selected G. Karunakara Reddy and G. Somashekar Reddy, elder and younger brothers of the mining scam-tainted G. Janardhan Reddy, to contest from Harpanahalli and Ballari seats in the Ballari district. The party has also fielded Lallesh Reddy, nephew of the Reddy brothers.”

Though the most resourceful of them--G Janardhana Reddy-- has been barred from entering Ballari, in accordance with his bail conditions in the illegal mining case, he is camping near Molakalmuru in Chitradurga district overseeing the campaign of his siblings as also the BJP, which is making a determined effort to form its government in the key southern state for a second time.

The Reddy brothers, whose stock soared during the iron ore export boom, had played a key role in installing the BJP's first government in the south in 2008. The BJP has publicly distanced itself from Janardhana Reddy, with party chief Amit Shah recently saying it has nothing to do with him, but ground realities suggest otherwise.

Assets of Janardhana Reddy were confiscated and he was jailed for three and half years before getting bail. His daughter's Rs 500 crore extravagant wedding, days after demonetisation was announced on November 2016,  became the talk of the town, amid a massive currency crunch that other far less fortunate than him faced for months on end. 

At the height of their influence, the Reddy troika -- two of whom were ministers and the third Somashekara Reddy the chairman of the Karnataka Milk Federation --were often accused of running the BJP government, before their clout waned.

So complete was the sway of their mining cartel's stranglehold on the region's politics that it had prompted the then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde to refer to the then Bellary (now Ballari) district as "the Republic of Bellary".