Sriramulu denies bid to topple BJP govt



Bellary: Former minister B Sriramulu, who won a key Assembly bypoll contesting as an independent after quitting the ruling BJP, on Sunday dismissed suggestions that he might seek to topple the DV Sadananda Gowda ministry.

He said he would hold consultations with his well wishers on forming a regional party.

Speaking to reporters here after being declared elected in the Bellary (Rural) Assembly by-elections, he said the ruling party has a five-year mandate and he would not "insult" the state's people, dismissing suggestions in some quarters that he would seek to topple the BJP government.

Sriramulu, who won by a margin of more than 46,000 votes over his nearest Congress rival pushing the BJP nominee to the third place, said he would consult his close associate and jailed former minister G Janardhana Reddy and his supporters on forming a regional party in Karnataka.

"I will have seek the blessings of my friend Janardhana Reddy and the electorate", Sriramulu, who had in recent days indicated he would float a regional party, said.

The backward class leader entered the contest as an independent after consulting Janardhana Reddy, lodged in a jail in Hyderabad in connection with illegal mining cases, and severing links with the BJP.

BJP, which had "dumped" Janardhana Reddy, his brother and former Minister G Karunakara Reddy and Sriramulu after the Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicted them, had already suspended three MLAs, one MLC and two Lok Sabha MPs for supporting Sriramulu during the electioneering.

"It's not my victory, it's the victory of the people. It's a victory for the pride", Sriramulu said, charging the BJP with "backstabbing him" forgetting about the contributions made by him and the Reddy brothers in the last Assembly polls which saw the Saffron party storming to power for the first time in the southern states.

"Just because I am a leader of backward classes, I come from the lower caste of 'Valmiky' community, they tried to finish me politically by hatching a conspiracy...Just like the government forgot us, in the coming days, people will forget BJP", he claimed.

PTI