Many may not know that Gali Janardhan Reddy, mining baron and former Minister who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in Hyderabad on Monday, led a lavish lifestyle, was a tough taskmaster and always got his way.
The son of a police head constable lived in a palatial mansion, with a well-equipped theatre, swimming pool and lush gardens. The house is filled with valuables, including a golden chair, and is surrounded by a fort-like compound wall guarded by armed private security guards and dogs.
People close to him say he lived lavishly even before he assumed power. Only noted personalities such as senior political leaders Sushma Swaraj, B.S. Yeddyurappa, H.D. Kumaraswamy, Ananth Kumar and actor Bharathi Vishnuvardhan were invited to his mansion.
Mr. Reddy is also said to have purchased the houses surrounding his mansion, and demolished them to ensure privacy.
He has a penchant for owning swanky imported cars. Among his collection include a Rolls Royce, which, according to sources, was used only on his birthday, a Maserati, Range Rovers, Land rovers and a BMW. In addition, he owned two helicopters that he used regularly to travel within the constituency and to Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Observers say that he functioned like a corporate CEO, taking quick decisions and chalking out plans, which he implemented to perfection. Once an idea bloomed in his mind, he would go all out to ensure that it was carried out to his satisfaction. A fitting example is the new airport he proposed to construct on irrigated fertile land unmindful of the opposition from a section of farmers. He would ignore opposition and criticisms to his ideas and would either coerce or convince people opposing them.
When asked about the crying need for a new airport when there was the Jindal airport already, he would say: “The district has not developed for years for want of infrastructure facilities. It is necessary to overcome shortcomings coming in the way of the district becoming a model one in the State.”
In the doldrums
It is irony then that this ‘rags to riches' man should today be cooling his heels in the Chanchalaguda Central Jail in Hyderabad. Not only this, Mr. Reddy is yet to face charges on illegal mining in Karnataka, on which the State Government is yet to initiate action.