Bellary (Karnataka): The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka on Sunday suffered a drubbing at the hands of mining barons Reddy brothers in the Bellary Rural Assembly seat bypoll with the rebel brothers` associate B Sriramulu, fighting as independent, winning the constituency by 46,000 votes.
Around 120,000 votes were polled on November 30 in the bypoll which BJP nominee P Gadilingappa and B Ramprasad of Congress lost.
Sriramulu had quit BJP on November 9 to contest as independent.
While Sriramulu secured a total 74,527 votes, BJP’s Gadilingappa finished a poor third losing the deposit managing only 17,366 votes behind Congress` Ramprasad who garnered 27,737 votes in the triangular fight.
Over 71 percent of the around 171,000 eligible voters had cast their ballot in the bypoll caused by Sriramulu quitting the seat which he had won in the May 2008 Assembly elections.
With Sriramulu`s victory, Reddy brothers` gamble in taking on BJP, inspite of the most aggressive of them, Gali Janardhana Reddy, being in Hyderabad jail in connection with illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh, has paid off.
The Reddy brothers -- Janardhana, Karunakara and Somashekara -- sons of a police constable in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, made Bellary, the iron rich district 300 km north of Bangalore their home and consider it as their pocket borough.
The three brothers are still in BJP, though the party has suspended Somashekara for campaigning for Sriramulu. Karunakara and Somashekara are Assembly members while Janardhana is in Legislative Council.
(With IANS inputs)