Bengaluru: BJP’s CM candidate and former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa today news agencies that the Reddy brothers were given tickets by BJP party president Amit Shah.
In an interaction with news agencies he said that ‘There is nothing negative’ in giving the Reddy’s brothers tickets, pointing out that they hadn’t given a ticket to Janardhan Reddy.
He was quoted saying: “There is nothing negative…. It was cleared by our national president Amit Shah. Some of the Reddy brothers are contesting the polls but we have not given a ticket to Janardhan Reddy. If they work for the BJP, it will be beneficial for the party. This was the view, and it was accepted by the party leadership.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday trained guns at the ruling Siddaramaiah Government in Karnataka and accused them of not letting the benefits of ‘Fasal Bima Yojna’ reach the farmers.
Prime Minister Modi, while addressing Kisan Morcha Karyakartas of Karnataka through Narendra Modi (NaMo) App, said that a change in the government is needed to bring changes in the farmer’s condition.
‘Due to the apathy of Karnataka Government, farmers in the state have not got the benefit of ‘Fasal Bima Yojna’. A sensitive government, which works for the development of farmers, is needed in the state,’ Prime Minister Modi said.
He said, when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate B. S. Yeddyurappa comes to power, he will work with renewed vigour to double farmer’s income.
The Prime Minister further pitched for coordination among nature, farmer and government.
He said that the Centre has increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) for notified crops to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost.
He said that the farmers should have the liberty to choose the kind of crops they want to sow on their land.
‘1 crore farmers have been provided Soil Health Card in Karnataka. 4000 hectare land in Karnataka has already been brought under micro-irrigation. 4 lakh hectare land in Karnataka has already been brought under micro-irrigation,’ the Prime Minister said.
He added that around 3.5 crore farmers have been covered under Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana, out of which 14 lakh farmers belong to Karnataka.
Having fallen on hard times following the humongous iron ore mining scam, the resourceful Reddy brothers of Ballari are back in the reckoning, with the BJP fielding two of them for the political potboiler of an Assembly poll slated next month.
The mining scam that rocked Karnataka not many years ago is no longer a reason for the BJP to jettison the influential Reddy brothers whom it has embraced once again.
The party has fielded G Somashekhara Reddy in Ballari city, and his elder brother and former Ballari Lok Sabha member G Karunakara Reddy in Harappanahalli in Davanagere district.
Though the most resourceful of them–G Janardhana Reddy– has been barred from entering Ballari, in accordance with his bail conditions in the illegal mining case, he is camping near Molakalmuru in Chitradurga district overseeing the campaign of his siblings as also the BJP, which is making a determined effort to form its government in the key southern state for a second time.
The BJP has publicly distanced itself from Janardhana Reddy, with party chief Amit Shah recently saying it has nothing to do with him, but ground realities suggest otherwise.
The Congress party and a section of the BJP see Shah’s statement as mere public posturing. Janardhana Reddy, they say, has been given the task of galvanising the Reddy community votes for the saffron party in the region.
The Reddy brothers, whose stock soared during the iron ore export boom, had played a key role in installing the BJP’s first government in the south in 2008.
At the height of their influence, the Reddy troika — two of whom were ministers and the third Somashekara Reddy the chairman of the Karnataka Milk Federation –were often accused of running the BJP government, before their clout waned.
So complete was the sway of their mining cartel’s stranglehold on the region’s politics that it had prompted the then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde to refer to the then Bellary (now Ballari) district as “the Republic of Bellary”.
But the proverbial long arm of law caught up with Janardhana Reddy and he was jailed in the illegal mining case.
He came out on bail after being behind bars for about three-and-a-half years. The upcoming elections in Karnataka are a test of sorts for the Reddy brothers. The Reddy brothers were in political wilderness during the 2013 polls, with the BJP steering clear of them.
The BJP’s chief ministerial nominee B S Yeddyurappa and Reddy brothers’ close aide and Ballari strongman B Sriramulu had floated their own parties, hurting the saffron party’s prospects in the 2013 polls.