Mining baron and former Karnataka minister G Janardhan Reddy, who has spent three years in jail on charges of corruption and illegal mining, has been campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party in northern parts of the state. “I am working for the BJP,” Reddy told NDTV on Wednesday.
Though Reddy is not allowed to enter his hometown Ballari, he campaigned for BJP candidate V Sriramulu in Molakalmuru, which lies just outside Bellari district. The Supreme Court has barred him from entering the district since his alleged involvement in the mining scam.
He also attended a roadshow in Chitradurga, around 100 km from Ballari, for the May 12 elections. “BJP is the mother of all Reddy brothers, all three Reddys are in the BJP,” NDTV quoted his younger brother Somasekhar Reddy as saying. Somasekhar Reddy is the BJP candidate from Ballari city while Karunakara Reddy will contest from Harapanahalli.
At the rally in Molakalmuru last week, Janardhan Reddy shared the stage with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, The Telegraph reported.
Last month, BJP President Amit Shah claimed that the party had nothing to do with Reddy. On Wednesday, party spokesperson Vamanacharya said that the BJP had not invited Reddy to campaign but could not ask him to stop as the mining baron was helping out the party just like any other common worker, the Deccan Herald reported. Vamanacharya’s colleague S Prakash told The Telegraph on Monday that the party had not assigned any role to Reddy since he was not a party member.