Bengaluru: Days after fielding Gali Somasekhara Reddy in its second list, BJP in its third list has given party ticket to another Reddy brother, Gali Karunakar Reddy, for the May 12 elections in Karnataka.
Karunakar Reddy - who once represented Ballari in the Lok Sabha -- is the eldest of the three mining baron brothers who wielded huge clout in the BJP government led by BS Yeddyurappa nearly a decade ago.
Karunakar Reddy was among the 59 candidates in BJP’s third list released on Friday.
Karunakar Reddy will represent the BJP from Harpanahalli, a town in Ballari district from where he won the 2008 assembly elections against Congress' former deputy chief minister MP Prakash. Soon, he got a portfolio in the Yeddyurappa-government.
While the Reddy brothers were credited with helping the BJP win it’s first-ever state in south India, later, they were seen to be behind much dissident activity against BS Yeddyurappa, who stepped down in 2011 following corruption charges.
A number of cases concerning rampant illegal mining in Ballari singed the Reddy brothers too, which appeared to affect their influence within the party. But now, with the BJP making an all-out effort to make a comeback in Karnataka under the leadership of BS Yeddyurappa, their political fortunes have also revived.
With the exception of Gali Janardhana Reddy, two of the Reddy brothers have now been given tickets from a region where they have considerable influence. A close aide of the Reddy brothers, B Sriramulu, will also be contesting for the BJP.
The BJP's second list, released on Monday, had the name of Gali Somashekhara Reddy, which drew immediate criticism from the Congress. Pointing to the cash-for-bail accusations against him, the Congress alleged that the BJP was fielding corrupt politicians.
The BJP defended itself saying it was a singular instance and a "compromise".
It is believed Yeddyurappa is bringing back his old squad -- Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Shetty, two other scam-tainted leaders who later had their names cleared, were also named in the BJP second list.
The candidate for Varuna in Mysuru district -- the keenly-watched old seat of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah - is yet to be made. Considered a safe seat, Congress has fielded the Chief Minister's son Dr Yatheendra Siddaramaiah. It is expected that the BJP will name Yeddyurappa son, B Y Raghavendra, against him - making it a proxy battle between the two leaders....