Ballari: A day after former Ballari Congress legislator Mr Anil H. Lad hinted that he was joining the BJP, political circles are abuzz with reports that he was 'advised' to join the saffron party to save himself from central investigative agencies.
Former mining baron Mr Lad who is under the scanner of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with an illicit iron trade has decided to join BJP without putting any conditions, on the 'advice' of fellow mine lords turned politicians who recently got acquitted in Belekeri port illicit iron ore export case by the special court for people's representatives.
Earlier, on Friday, Bengaluru High Court rejected an application filed by Mr Lad seeking dismissal of a case filed by CBI against him. Economic Offences Wing of CBI, Chennai had filed a chargesheet accusing Mr Lad and others in connection with illicit export of about 50,000 metric tonnes of iron ore from Belekeri port. In this connection, Mr Lad had earlier served a prison sentence for a brief period and is now out on bail.
Interestingly, two other lawmakers who went behind bars for almost 18 months following the CBI probe in a similar case of illicit ore export from Belekeri port have been acquitted by the special court for people's representatives, Bengaluru last week.
"Anil Lad's decision to join BJP is not an isolated case and it should be viewed with other ongoing developments in illicit mining cases probed by CBI, Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate ", said a top source who worked closely to unearth mining scam.
Though, Mr Lad on Friday said, none of the leaders in the Congress party take him seriously and he has been 'sidelined' in the party though he took a lead role in the party's padayatra from Bengaluru to Ballari in 2010 against the Reddy mine lords' illegal mining, on Saturday he told reporters here: " I'm not a backstabber. I'm disappointed with Congress leadership and conveyed it to top brass. I'm thinking it's right to join BJP. I'm not behind money and I'm joining BJP without any conditions."
Mr Lad confirmed that he already spoken to Ballari BJP strongman and health minister Mr B Sriramulu over his joining the saffron party.
"I will be meeting Chief Minister Mr Yediyurappa on Monday and will join BJP in his presence", said Mr Lad.
In July, Congress leader Mr Lad had come out in the open against the previous Congress-JDS regime and supported disqualified Congress legislator from Hosapete Mr BS Anand Singh who opposed the sale of Sandur land to steel major, JSW Steel.
Mr Anil, cousin of former minister Mr Santosh Lad had contested and won from Ballari city thrice on a Congress ticket. He won in 2013 assembly poll, while he lost 2008 and 2018 polls respectively. He had also served as Congress party's Rajya Sabha member during 2008 to 2013.
Mr Lad had started his political career with the BJP and was elected to the state assembly from Kudligi assembly seat in 2004 on BJP ticket and later switched to Congress party after developing differences with then BJP strongman and beleaguered mine baron Gali Janardhan Reddy....