Bellary (Karnataka): BJP leader Sushma Swaraj
on Friday stayed away from a puja on the occasion of a festival
organised by controversial mining magnates and Reddy brothers
who consider her their "godmother", reflecting changed
The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha has been
visiting Bellary without fail since 1999 on the occasion of
the `Mahalakshmi Vratha` and performed the puja except in 2008
when she did not attend due to her father-in-law`s demise.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari visited Bellary for the
festival and made an attempt to placate the Reddy
brothers--Janardhana and Karunakara--who failed to get
ministerial berths in the new Government in Karnataka after
their names figured in the illegal mining scam.
After losing the high-profile election against Congress
president Sonia Gandhi from Bellary in 1999, Sushma had taken
a vow to visit the constituency every year for the
`Mahalakshmi Vratha` as a "thanksgiving" ceremony.
Gadkari told the Reddy brothers that "ministerial post
is not permanent in politics".
Gadkari,who inaugurated a Mass Marriage programme
organised by the district BJP unit here under the leadership
of former minister B Sreeramulu, exhorted the Reddy brothers--
--to devote their energies to the service of people.
"Many people have lost ministerial posts in the party.
But the party workers continue their work with enthusiasm.
Ours is a party of dedicated workers", Gadkari said.
Gadkari showered praises on the pro-people programmes
implemented by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in the
last three years in Karnataka and said "I am satisified by
Yeddyurappa, who was forced by BJP to quit after his
indictment by a Lokayukta report on illegal mining, was
present on the occasion.
Besides Sreeramulu, Reddy brothers, ministers Shobha
Karandlaje and Basavaraj Bommai were also present.