He has also sent his resignation from the primary membership of BJP to party national Nitin Gadkari.
Sriramulu, who held the Health portfolio in the Yeddyurappa ministry, went in a huge procession to the Deputy Commissioner’s office to submit his nomination papers. The occasion turned out to be a show of strength with thousands of his supporters marching with him. Legislators G Somasekhara Reddy, T S Suresh Babu, Goolihatti Shekhar, B Nagendra, Lok Sabha members J Shantha and Sanna Fakirappa accompanied Sriramulu during the procession, which took about three hours to reach the DC office.
Earlier, addressing a press meet, Sriramulu termed the bypoll as “a battle for self-esteem” for him.
He said he would fight the electoral battle on the strength of his morality and honesty. The former minister expressed confidence that the people of the constituency would elect him with a huge majority.
“I will neither criticise the government nor any of the leaders. I am indebted to Yeddyurappa for making me a minister twice,” Sriramulu said.
He said he was pained that his friend Janardhana Reddy was not with him for this election.
The byelection would be a show of strength for him, Sriramulu said.
He said he would not appeal to the Congress and the JD(S) not to field their candidates in the byelection. He would face the BJP candidate, if the party were to field one.
“It is not my intention to cause problems for the BJP. I have requested Bellary MP J Shantha (Sriramulu’s sister) and Raichur MP Sanna Fakirappa and MLAs supporting me not to quit the BJP. It is enough if they support me,” Sriramulu said. He noted that some BJP leaders from Bellary had not behaved properly with him on a few occasions. Hence, he was seeking justice in the people’s court.
Letter to Gadkari
In his parting shot to the BJP, Sriramulu on Wednesday wrote to Nitin Gadkari, narrating his woes and “humiliation” he claims was meted out to him during the last few months by the party, ultimately forcing him to take a decision to contest the Bellary Rural bypoll as an independent.
In his letter, copies of which were released to the press, Sriramulu states that during the last few months there had been repeated attempts by the powers that be to tarnish his image by branding him as someone who indulged in blackmailing.
“There have been attempts to make the world believe that I am using blackmailing tactics to somehow find my way into the government, despite my repeated public announcements to the contrary. I have made it public umpteen times that I was not hankering after power,” the letter states.
Sriramulu claimed that he travelled the length and breadth of the State to help the BJP spread its roots even in places where it was non-existent.
“As much as the party has given me opportunities to grow, my closest friend Janardhana Reddy and I have also put our heart, soul and our very lives in bringing the party to power for the first time in South India,” Sriramulu claims in the letter.
However, the former minister goes on to write that the way he had been treated by the party had hurt him deeply.
“When it looked like there was a clear attempt to sabotage my political career by ignoring my clarifications and by slinging mud on my thus-far blemishless personality,
I decided to quit,” Sriramulu states.
Sriramulu says he was convinced about the “sabotage” against him in the party, when the State Cabinet decided to seek clarifications from the Lokayukta about a few issues in the mining report, after his resignation as MLA was accepted.
“It looked like a clear message to me to not trust the party any more. My self-respect was at stake,” the letter states.
Sriramulu has requested Gadkari to relieve him from all responsibilities in the party and also from the party’s primary membership.
A copy of the letter has been sent to BJP State President K S Eshwarappa.
The letter comes with an annexure listing out the contributions of Sriramulu to the party.