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“I was a tiger even in jail, and now I am on the hunt” – Janardhana Reddy

Reddy

Reddy’s rise was amazing, but so was his collapse. After being imprisoned in connection with the greatest illicit mining fraud that shocked the state, he vanished from most memory and into history. But Reddy has returned, this time as a rebel! He is frantically looking for a political comeback and retribution during this election season after being rejected by the BJP’s national leadership, ignored by state saffron party officials, and labeled a weakling by opposition parties.

Under his freshly launched political party, “Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha,” he intends to become powerful. Together with Ballari, he intends to run at least 30 candidates in each of the six Kalyana Karnataka districts of Vijayanagar, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Yadgir, Bidar, and Koppal. But the real issue is, is Reddy still a force to be reckoned with? The situation has created a conundrum for the BJP, which is depending on the aspirational regions of Kalyana Karnataka to improve its chances in the election.

“Reddy’s move would undoubtedly disturb the Party’s plans since he will reduce support for certain of our candidates, congress, which has a strong presence in the area, will benefit from this” a BJP official stated. 

Apparently, Reddy’s anger stem is the result of the BJP central leadership abandoning him and refusing to assist him in resolving his criminal charges. Additionally, the BJP declined his request to participate in politics. “All these politicians thought my political career ended after I was jailed. But I was a tiger even in jail, and now I am on the hunt,” said Reddy.

Reddy

No matter who he intends to target, his attempt at a resurgence has put his closest friend, B Sriramulu in a difficult position. In 2011, Sriramulu quit the BJP at Reddy’s request before rejoining the saffron party. But this time, he has decided not to join Reddy’s new party. Instead, Sriramulu has decided to challenge him directly by declaring that he will contest from Ballari Rural.

Gali Janardhana Reddy, a mining magnate, was the BJP’s icon for political poaching fifteen years ago. With the help of “Operation Lotus,” he gave the saffron party a decisive advantage in Karnataka. He also grabbed headlines for his glamorous lifestyle and ruthless tactics.

Out from Janardhana’s shadow

“Sriramulu has emerged from the shadow of Janardhana Reddy long ago and is now regarded as one of the strongest leaders of the Scheduled Tribes,” a BJP source stated. . He not only received important cabinet positions, but he also established himself as a potential candidate for the role of deputy chief minister.

He is a part of the BJP’s core electoral committee. Sriramulu was instructed to win 28–35 seats in Kalyana Karnataka by Amit Shah, the party’s top poll strategist, in order to demonstrate his abilities. Yet, Reddy now poses a challenge to the BJP’s support base. According to political observers, the Reddy factor will only be effective in four districts—Ballari, Koppal, Raichur, and Vijayanagar—which together make up 22 seats.

One analyst stated, “Congress and JD(S) candidates won 10 seats in these four districts in the 2018 assembly elections by fewer than 10,000 votes. “BJP is targeting these seats this time, but Reddy might cause trouble. He may harm the BJP’s chances in 5–6 seats.

Reddy has also turned against his brothers, BJP lawmakers Somashekara and Karunakara Reddy. Aruna Lakshmi, his wife, would seek office in Ballari City, where Somashekara is the current MLA, he declared. Reddy intends to run against Gangavathi.

Battle of Kurukshetra

Somashekara compared this brother’s political tactics to those of the defeated Kauravas and referred to the election as “another battle of Kurukshetra between the Pandavas and Kauravas” in his description of the polls. Reddy’s entrance into the fight has actually brightened the campaign and raised the stakes of the conflict.

While aspiring politicians believe the new party gives them greater opportunities, many worry about the infamous mining cartel’s possible resurgence. Reddy will also have challenges because the general public still remembers his grandeur. He never received a warning. We have just recently seen him on the campaign trail, asking for support, they claim.

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