Sreeramulu quits BJP in Karnataka

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 21:28

Bangalore: Trouble appeared brewing for the
ruling BJP in Karnataka on Wednesday with former minister and trusted
aide of mining barons Reddy brothers B Sreeramulu quitting the
party after filing nomination as an Independent candidate for
the Bellary Rural bypoll.

Sreeramulu resigned making known his displeasure over
being sidelined and citing "humiliation" meted out to his
business associate and jailed former minister G Janaradhana
Reddy, whom he consulted before deciding to contest as an
Independent in the November 30 bypoll.

In his resignation letter to BJP national and state
chiefs Nitin Gadkari and K S Eshwarappa respectively,
Sreeramulu recounted the struggle he and Reddy brothers made
to demolish the Congress stronghold in the mine-rich Bellary
district.

The state BJP had tried hard to persuade Sreeramulu to
contest on the party ticket, but was not willing to accept his
condition that he would be made a minister if he wins the
bypoll.

Upset over his exclusion from the Sadananda Gowda
Ministry, Sreeramulu had quit as MLA in August, causing the
bypoll.

Giving vent to his anger at the state leaders, he said
they did not come to his or Reddy`s rescue when the Lokayukta
report on illegal mining indicted them along with former Chief
Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who quit over its findings.

"I have not betrayed the party. I had worked for the
party and gave strength to it. But the party sidelined me,
forcing me to seek re-election as an independent", he told
reporters.

Sreeramulu filed his nomination to retain his Bellary
Rural (ST) seat after rejecting the party`s offer to field
him.

The open support to Sreeramulu by BJP MPs J Shanta and
Sanna Fakirappa of Raichur and MLAs Somashekara Reddy and H T
Suresh Babu has increased worries for the ruling party.

After Sreeraumulu filed his nomination, Eshwarappa
discussed the Bellary crisis with the party leaders including
Yeddyurappa.

"Anyone going against the party would face expulsion,
including Sreeramulu," he said.

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda hinted at BJP fielding
candidate against Sreeramulu.

The resignation by Sreeramulu, one of the influential
Bellary trio -- Janardhana Reddy and his brother G Karunakara
Reddy being the other two -- has come at a time when the
faction-riven BJP is battling spate of corruption charges
against Yeddyurappa and some ministers.

BJP state unit spokesman Prahald Joshi said the party was
contemplating disciplinary action against MPs and MLAs
supporting Sreeramulu.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 21:28

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