BJP placates Reddy brothers ahead of legislative council poll

December 15th, 2011 - 1:16 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Dec 14 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka Wednesday withdrew suspension of one of the Reddy brothers and their three associates from the party ahead of the Dec 22 bypoll to the legislative council which Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda is contesting.

Gali Somashekara Reddy, two other party assembly members and one legislative council member were suspended Nov 25 as they supported the brothers’ associate and former BJP minister B. Sriramulu in a bypoll to the assembly.

Sriramulu Dec 4 won the bypoll to the Bellary Rural seat pushing the BJP candidate to third place after Congress.

State BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa late Wednesday announced withdrawal of the suspension of Somashekara, H.T. Suresh Babu and B. Nagendra, all assembly members from Bellary district, 300 km north of Bangalore, stronghold of Reddy brothers. The legislative council member is Mrutyunjaya Jinaga.

The BJP decision comes after Sriramulu changed his tune of defeating Gowda in the council bypoll by supporting Congress candidate Anand Gaddadevaramath. The Janata Dal-Secular is not contesting and has not announced whether it will support the Congress nominee or stay neutral.

After his Dec 4 victory Sriramulu had been going round claiming that 22 BJP assembly members were supporting him and his first target is Gowda’s defeat.

However, he told reporters Wednesday in Bangalore that since these 22 were elected to the assembly as BJP members, he will not tell them to vote against their party candidate.

Of the three Reddy brothers only Somashekara openly supported Sriramulu while Gali Janardhana, former BJP minister, directed the bypoll battle against his party from his jail cell in Hyderabad.

Gali Karunakara, also a former BJP minister, apparently stayed neutral and has been keeping away from public since the arrest of Janardhana Sep 5 in connection with illegal mining case in Anhdra Pradesh.

The BJP has 120 members, including the speaker, in the 225-member assembly that has one nominated member. The party also has the support of one independent member.

Congress has 71 and JDS 26. There are six other independents, including Sriramulu.

Sadananda Gowda, now a Lok Sabha member, took over as chief minister from B.S. Yeddyurappa Aug 4. He has to get elected to the assembly or council within six months of assuming office as per the constitution.

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