Reddys empire: mines in Andhra, politics in KarnatakaSeptember 5th, 2011 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Sep 5 (IANS) The empire of G. Janardhana Reddy, who was Monday arrested for illegal mining, straddles two neighbouring southern states - iron ore mines in Andhra Pradesh and politics in Karnataka.
The 44-year-old Janardhana owns the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) which has mining lease in Andhra Pradesh.
The OMC is alleged to have indulged in massive illegal mining in that state as well as in neighbouring areas of Karnataka, particularly in iron-ore rich Bellary district.
Bellary, about 330 km from Bangalore, is also the political base of the Reddy brothers - Janardhana, the elder G. Karunakara and the younger G. Somashekara.
The brothers hail form Andhra Pradesh where their father Chenga Reddy was a police constable.
Janardhana was tourism minister and Karunakara held the revenue portfolio in the first Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka that went out on July 31 when B.S. Yeddyurappa quit as chief minister after the Lokayukta (ombudsman) indicted him for graft in an illegal mining scam.
Janardhana is a member of the legislative council while Karunakara and Somashekara are assembly members.
Janardhana, who has passed SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate, equivalent to 10th standard) is the most vocal of the brothers. His wife Aruna is also a director of OMC. The couple has one daughter and one son.
Karunakara was a director of OMC but resigned from the post in 2004.
The Reddys staunch follower B. Sriramulu, whom the brothers consider to be their family member, was also on OMC board of directors. He too quit in 2008. He was health minister in the Yeddyurappa cabinet.
The Reddys’ rise both in business and politics has been meteoric.
They joined BJP only in 1999 and have till now enjoyed clout that few, who are just about 10 years old in that party, can match in Karnataka.
The hold stems from the billions they raked from iron ore mining and exports, a business they entered only in 2005, after starting the OMC in 2002.
They entered the BJP and mining business when the prospects of both were on the rise.
BJP had come to power for the first time at the national level, though in alliance with many parties in 1998.
The 1999 Lok Sabha polls had put Bellary, one of the most backward Karnataka districts, on the global map as Congress president Sonia Gandhi was contesting the election for the first time from there along with family stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Reddys worked for Sushma Swaraj, the fiery BJP leader who unsuccessfully took on Sonia Gandhi in Bellary, and cemented their place in the party and began dominating the district which was a Congress bastion.
The global demand for steel sent iron ore prices soaring and Reddys kitty bulging.
From riding bicycles, the Reddys began driving the latest luxury cars and moved on to owning helicopters.
Their riches helped build an enviable clout in Karnataka’s BJP and also led to controversies, both in Andhra Pradesh and in this state.
- Reddys' rise: Riding cycles to rattling BJP leadership - May 31, 2011
- Elder Reddy tells CBI no links with mining - Sep 17, 2011
- Mining baron Janardhana Reddy arrested, jailed - Sep 05, 2011
- My assets are over Rs.1,000 crore, Reddy once said (To go with Reddys' rise: Riding cycles to rattling BJP leadership) - May 31, 2011
- CBI to quiz Reddy brothers over illegal mining - Sep 15, 2011
- Reddy brothers back in news, for wrong reasons again - May 28, 2011
- Mining baron Janardhana Reddy finally under arrest (News Analysis) - Sep 05, 2011
- Mining baron Reddy completes a year behind bars Sep 5 - Sep 04, 2012
- Mine owner fighting Reddy brothers assaulted - Mar 29, 2010
- Congress attacks BJP over Reddy's arrest; a conspiracy, says BJP - Sep 05, 2011
- Sushma gives wealth goddess festival a miss - Aug 12, 2011
- Sushma's conspicuous absence at Reddy function (Lead) - Aug 12, 2011
- Hegde should apologise, says Karunakara Reddy - Jul 29, 2011
- Reddy brothers in ministry with central leaders' nod: Yeddyurappa - May 30, 2011
- BJP takes first step to discipline defiant Reddy brothers - Nov 25, 2011
Tags: andhra pradesh, aruna, assembly members, bellary, bharatiya janata party, chief minister, clout, follower, health minister, iron ore mines, iron ore mining, leaving certificate, legislative council, mining company, neighbouring areas, omc, party government, police constable, southern states, tourism minister