Ballari: Has jittery BJP rehabilitated Janardhan Reddy?

Ballari: With the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of Andhra Pradesh parting ways with the NDA at the Centre, the Kamma community is reportedly getting ready to campaign against the BJP in the coming assembly poll in Karnataka.

And YSR Congress chief, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is hobnobbing with the BJP, is learnt to have engaged his alleged business ally, Janardhan Reddy to counter the “anti-BJP” campaign, particularly in Telugu dominant areas of Karnataka.

The mining baron turned politician will be expected to mobilise support from the Reddy community for the BJP, confirmed  his brother,  G. Somashekar Reddy, who is himself hoping for a BJP ticket fromn Ballari city.

“Senior leaders of the BJP have asked Janardhana Reddy to mobilise support for the party from the Reddy community in Ballari, Koppal and Kolar, among other districts, where they are in good number,” Mr. Somashekar told reporters  during his  door-to-door campaign in the city.

 Mr Janardhan Reddy had during the recent Sankranti festival publicly vowed to defeat the Congress, particularly Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who in 2010 as  leader of the opposition in state Assembly, had taken out a padayatra from Bengaluru to Ballari against illegal mining. 

It is, however, not clear what position Mr. Janardhana Reddy holds in the BJP after his release in 2015 on bail after spending 41 months in jail on charges of  illegal mining. 

The saffron party is expectedly worried about the impact of its split with the TDP on the Karnataka polls as Kamma  farmers, who  came from East and West Godavari, Guntur, Kurnool and other parts of Andhra Pradesh and settled down in the irrigated belts of Ballari, Koppal, Raichur, Yadgir and Gulbarga district around three decades ago, are staunch supporters of community icon, the late NT Rama Rao and his son-in-law, N Chandrababu Naidu.

These Telugu-speaking voters play a decisive role in at least a dozen Assembly constituencies in Hyderabad-Karnataka and usually vote en masse for a particular political party or candidate.


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