BJP not serious about severing ties with Reddys

BJP not serious about severing ties with Reddys

The turnout for the campaign by State Party President K S Eshwarappa and others on Saturday in Bellary was more than it used to be in the last 10 days. But only the result will reflect whether Sriramulu is still the people’s leader or the BJP’s action is better late than never.

Many in the BJP feel that the action has come too late. When the Reddys were ruling the roost in Bellary and browbeating Yeddyurappa, when he was chief minister, no action was taken. For sometime, Eshwarappa himself had aligned with the Reddys when the Ananth Kumar camp was trying to oust Yeddyurappa as chief minister. Eventually, because of the mining scam, the image of Yeddyurappa and the party became a casualty.

Keeping the party’s prospects and image in view, Eshwarappa should have acted against the Reddys camp long back, party sources said.

Even now, the party is not serious about severing ties with the Reddys. It is looking at the short-time benefit by suspending the legislators. The suspension has served two purposes - sending a message to the people in Bellary that it has got rid off the tainted Reddys; restraining the BJP workers and legislators from publicly supporting Sriramulu during the campaign.

If the party was really serious about taming Reddys and Co, it would have at least issued show cause notices to Janardhana Reddy, who is in CBI custody in the mining case, and his brother Karunakara Reddy, MLA, also indicted in the mining report. Suspended MLA G Somashekara Reddy is also the elected chairman of the KMF.

Even if the party takes the drastic step of expelling the three MLAs who are supporting Sriramulu, there will be no immediate threat to the government as it will be left with 118 MLAs in an Assembly of 224 members (the minimum strength required is 113). The BJP may not hesitate to renegotiate with the five Independent MLAs, who were earlier part of the Yeddyurappa cabinet, seeking their support, sources said.