Janardhana Reddy Can't Campaign In Ballari For Karnataka Polls: Supreme Court

The court rejected Janardhana Reddy's request, saying he had been released on bail and he cannot visit Ballari because of the conditions.

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Karnataka assembly election: scam-tainted Janardhana Reddy can't campaign for BJP in Ballari, says court


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Janardhana Reddy wanted to campaign for his brother Somasekar Reddy
  2. He is an accused in the illegal mining case
  3. "There is no need for him to campaign in the elections," top court ruled

Mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, who is out on bail, cannot campaign on his home-turf Ballari for the May 12 Karnataka election, the Supreme Court said today.

Janardhana Reddy, who was jailed for corruption, cannot enter Ballari as a condition for his release on bail in 2015.

The court today rejected his request for a 10-day reprieve from the ban to campaign for his brother Somasekhara Reddy, a BJP candidate, and cast his vote in the election next Saturday.

"There is no need for him to campaign in the elections," said the court, reiterating his bail conditions.

Janardhana Reddy has set up base at the edge of Ballari and has been seen campaigning for his brother Somasekhara Reddy and close friend B Sriramulu, a BJP candidate in Molakalmaru in Chitradurga district. His temporary office just 45 km from Ballari town is a hub of planning and strategy for the polls.

A former minister engulfed in corruption charges, Janardhana Reddy has been campaigning despite BJP president Amit Shah saying he has "nothing to do with the BJP." The BJP's presumptive chief minister BS Yeddyurappa also said he was "only helping out".

Janardhana Reddy, one-third of the Reddy brothers who enjoy tremendous influence in the Ballari region, has been charged in over 60 cases of illegal mining and spent three years in jail.

The Reddys' wealth and power was seen to be a key driver when the BJP won the election in Karnataka in 2008 and form its first government in the south.

But their clout has diminished considerably since then, over investigations allegations that peaked in 2011 when the state's top anti-corruption officer at the time, Santosh Hegde, published a report that said the brothers were running a "Republic of Ballari".

This election marks their gradual return to political prominence. Despite distancing itself from Janardhana Reddy, the BJP has fielded both his brothers; Karunakar Reddy is contesting from Harapanahalli.

The Karnataka election results will be declared on May 15.



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