BJP confident that Reddy arrest won’t affect by-poll

September 14th, 2011 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Sep 14 (IANS) Karnataka’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Wednesday it was confident that mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy’s arrest would not affect the party in the Koppal assembly by-poll later this month.

“Janardhana Reddy’s arrest and resignation of (Reddy associate and former health minister B.) Sriramulu from the assembly will not have any impact on the party’s prospects in the by-poll,” state BJP spokesperson Ayanur Manjunath told reporters here.

“The arrest is politically motivated,” he said after a meeting of state BJP leaders and office-bearers of district units to assess the impact of graft charges against Yeddyurappa and Reddy’s arrest on the party’s prospects in the by-poll in Koppal, about 300 km from here.

The by-poll is set for Sep 26 and is the first election after the party’s first chief minister in the state B.S. Yeddyurappa was forced to quit over graft charges July 31.

It follows the resignation of Karadi Sanganna of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)from the assembly and the party to join the BJP in March this year. Sanganna was elected from Koppal in the May 2008 assembly election.

State BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and his predecessor Yeddyurappa attended the meeting.

Janardhana Reddy, who was tourism minister in the Yeddyurappa cabinet, was arrested Sep 5 for illegal mining and is now in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody in Hyderabad.

Sriramulu resigned from the assembly Sep 4 as he has been indicted by the Lokayukta (ombudsman) in the illegal mining scam. The resignation is yet to be accepted by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.

The BJP central leaders have directed the state unit to fight the Koppal by-poll under “collective leadership” to put an end to public bickering about who should lead the party - Yeddyurappa or the Eshawarappa-Sadananda Gowda combine.

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