Karnataka MLA and former Cabinet minister G Janardhana Reddy, the prime accused in several investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation into illegal mining and corruption, merged his Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha party with the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday, The News Minute reported.

Reddy’s wife, Aruna Lakshmi, also joined the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in the presence of BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and his son, the party’s state unit chief BY Vijayendra.

Reddy established the Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha in 2022. The mining baron won from the Gangavathi Assembly constituency in the 2023 Karnataka elections, making him the only leader from his party to secure a seat in the Assembly.

“Union Minister Amit Shah told me to come to the [BJP],” Reddy said on Monday. “Yediyurappa is the reason for BJP’s presence in Karnataka… I have the opportunity to work with both father and son. I have joined the BJP as an activist without any conditions.”

The merger of the Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha with the BJP marks Reddy’s second stint with the Hindutva party. He was made a minister in Yediyurappa’s state Cabinet in 2008.

Reddy was arrested in 2011 on charges of illegal mining after which the BJP had distanced itself from him. He was released on bail in 2015.

In June 2023, a special MP-MLA court had ordered 82 properties belonging to Reddy and Lakshmi to be attached in a case by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The central agency had alleged that the properties were purchased with the proceeds of crime obtained from illegal mining and the export of iron ore between 2009 and 2010, The Hindu reported.

The agency had sought to attach a total of 124 properties worth Rs 65 crore to partially recover losses of Rs 128 crore that the state public exchequer incurred allegedly due to Reddy’s actions.