Bellary: The political future of rebel BJP leader and former minister B Sreeramulu, a close associate of jailed mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, will be decided Wednesday in the keenly fought bye-election to Bellary Rural Assembly constituency.
He faces stiff competition from ruling BJP nominee Gadilingappa and Ramaprasad of the Congress.
The bye-election was necessitated when Sreeramulu, a trusted lieutenant of mining barons G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy, quit assembly membership after being denied
a ministerial berth following his indictment along with the Reddy brothers in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
Janardhana Reddy is presently lodged in a Hyderabad jail after being arrested by CBI in an illegal mining case.
BJP leadership had struck at the camp of powerful Bellary Reddy brothers on November 25, suspending two MPS loyal to them and issued showcause notices to four legislators for
alleged indiscipline and anti-party activities.
However, the action against J Shanta, Bellary MP, Sanna Fakirappa, Raichur MP, G Somashekara, H T Suresh Babu, B Nagendra (all MLAs) and Mruthyunjaya Jinaga, MLC failed to cut ice as they continued supporting Sreeramulu.
Sreeramulu has also held out a threat to BJP, announcing plans yesterday to float a new political outfit.
The campaign saw all the top BJP state brass, including Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, his cabinet colleagues and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa undertake an extensive
tour in the constituency to ensure Gadilingappa`s win.
The opposition Congress has gone all out to try to turn the tables on BJP and end the string of defeats it has faced in the bypolls in Karnataka.
The bypoll will see an estimated 1.72 lakh voters cast their franchise to decide poll fortune of the candidates.
Meanwhile, the electoral authorities have drafted in about 2500 security personnel for poll duty tomorrow. Four companies of paramilitary forces will assist police in conducting the polling.
Officials have declared 115 of the 192 polling stations in the constituency as hypersensitive. Counting of votes will be held on December 4.