Another Reddy Brother In Running For BJP In Karnataka Assembly Polls

Gali Karunakar Reddy -- who once represented Ballari in the Lok Sabha -- is the eldest of the three scam-tainted mining baron brothers who wielded huge clout in the BJP government led by BS Yeddyurappa nearly a decade ago.

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Another Reddy Brother In Running For BJP In Karnataka Assembly Polls

Gali Karunakar Reddy was part of the third list of 59 candidates by BJP


Bengaluru: 

Highlights

  1. Gali Karunakar Reddy is the candidate for the seat of Harpanahalli
  2. He was a minister in the government of BS Yeddyurappa
  3. Reddy brothers helped BJP win its first-ever state in south India
The BJP has given a ticket to another Reddy brother for the coming assembly elections in Karnataka, days after fielding Gali Somasekhara Reddy. Gali Karunakar Reddy -- who once represented Ballari in the Lok Sabha -- is the eldest of the three mining baron brothers who wielded huge clout in the BJP government led by BS Yeddyurappa nearly a decade ago. His name was part of the third list of 59 candidates which the BJP released today. 

Karunakar Reddy is the candidate for the seat of Harpanahalli, a town in Ballari district from where he won the 2008 assembly elections against Congress' former deputy chief minister MP Prakash. Subsequently, he was made a minister in the government of Mr Yeddyurappa. 

The Reddy brothers were credited with helping the BJP win its first-ever state in south India. Later, they were seen to be behind much dissident activity against Mr Yeddyurappa, who stepped down in 2011 following corruption charges. 

A number of cases concerning rampant illegal mining in Ballari singed the Reddy brothers too, which appeared to affect their influence within the party. But now, with the BJP making an all-out effort to make a comeback in the state under the leadership of Mr Yeddyurappa, their political fortunes have also revived. 

With the exception of Gali Janardhana Reddy, two of the Reddy brothers have now been given tickets from a region where they wield considerable influence. A close aide of the brothers, B Sriramulu, will also be contesting for the BJP.

The BJP's second list, released on Monday, had the name of Gali Somashekhara Reddy, which drew immediate jeers from the Congress. Pointing to the cash-for-bail accusations against him, the Congress alleged that the BJP was fielding corrupt politicians.

The BJP defended itself saying it was a singular instance and a "compromise". 

"I think the party has made one compromise in order to ensure that we win the seat... it is not across the board like Congress... there are 67 complaints against Siddaramaiah," state BJP leader Vivek Reddy told NDTV. 

Mr Yeddyurappa is seen as bringing back his old team -- Katta Subramanya Naidu and Krishnaiah Shetty, two other scam-tainted leaders who later had their names cleared, were also on the BJP second list. 

The candidate for Varuna in Mysuru district -- the keenly-watched old seat of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah - is yet to be made. Considered a safe seat, it has gone to the Chief Minister's son Dr Yatheendra Siddaramaiah. It is expected that the BJP will field Mr Yeddyurappa son, B Y Raghavendra, against him -- making it a proxy battle between the two leaders.

There was one deviation - the ticket for Kolar Gold Fields or KGF has gone to S Ashwini instead of her father, Y Sampangi. The party has so far named only six women candidates. But with 15 women in a list of 218 candidates, the Congress is not seen to have done much better in giving representation to women. 


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