Sush'maa' disowns her 'sons'

Rejects invite to attend Varamahalakshmi pooja; not to visit Bellary this year

BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj with B Sriramulu and  Janardhana Reddy in happier times. DH Photo While the reason being given is that of a death in the family, political circles are abuzz with theories that ‘mother’ Sushma has finally disowned her political offsprings.

Every year, the Opposition Leader in the Lok Sabha used to take part in the Varalakshmi pooja organised at cardiologist Dr B K Srinivasa Murthy’s house and then attend the mass marriage programme organised by B Sriramulu. That has been the practice since 1999 when Swaraj contested against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Bellary Lok Sabha constituency. She had then declared that she was “a daughter of Bellary”, and would visit the City every year “irrespective of whether I win or lose.”

Swaraj has kept her promise over the years, except in 2008 when her father-in-law passed away.  In 2009, the leader managed to make time for a quick visit and participated in the pooja and mass marriage despite the Lok Sabha sessions.

Her visit to Bellary has been marked by show of mushy affection from both sides, with the Reddys and Sriramulu gushing about their ‘mother,’ and Swaraj often posing with the Reddy brothers with visible maternal pride.

Massive conventions

Swaraj’s visit to Bellary drew a lot more attention last year with the Congress leaders’ march party’s ‘Nadarakshana Nadige’ from Bangalore to Bellary culminating in the district on the day of her visit. Both the parties had organised massive conventions in a bid to outdo each other. At the BJP convention, Swaraj launched development projects worth Rs 1,300 crore.

But the times, they are a’changing. With illegal mining in Bellary grabbing headlines and coming to the adverse attention of the Lokayukta, Swaraj has begun distancing from the tainted Reddys.

Apart from her statement to an English news magazine where she categorically stated that she had “nothing to do with the political growth of Reddy brothers”, Swaraj is also said to be evading the Bellary trio and their calls.

With her refusal to attend the pooja this year, the questions that were lingering around her visit have not only been answered, but Swaraj has also sent across a clear message that she is no longer ‘mother’ to Reddy brothers.

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