Bellary poll verdict: Is Sriramulu clean now?

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Bangalore:  Should the verdict delivered by voters of the Bellary Rural (ST) Assembly Constituency be construed as rejection of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining over which B Sriramulu had resigned from the seat? This was the topic of debate around Vidhana Soudha.

While the state government was in a quandary on taking action on the recommendations of the Lokayukta against those indicted in the report, Sriramulu's big bypoll win has raised a question whether people have outright rejected the report.

Sriramulu had resigned his seat saying his conscience had been hurt after he was indicted by the Lokayukta in its report.

He had also stated that he would seek the verdict in the "people's court".

Though no political party or Sriramulu had made the Lokayukta report on illegal mining a campaigning card, it was expected that voters would certainly be influenced by the report, which said the "state exchequer suffered a whopping revenue loss to the tune of 16,000 crore".

However, the Janata Janardhanas (voters) were apparently not swayed by the report and again voted back Sriramulu, one of the prime accused in the mining scam.

The voters of the Bellary Rural Assembly constituency must have been amused to see that almost all candidates seeking entry to Vidhana Soudha were mine operators, including BJP's Gadilingappa and Sriramulu.

In fact, the former BJP leader, who contested as an Independent, won by a bigger margin than the previous election.


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