Leaders feel the belated efforts may not serve the purpose

Efforts by the Bharatiya Janata Party to resurrect its image and retain its hold on power, that too at the fag end of its five-year term, has come as a surprise to many.

Recently the BJP nominated Guttiganur Virupaksha Gouda, president of the party’s district unit, as chairman of the Karnataka State Border Area Development Authority, and Sanjay, councillor, as chairman of the Karnataka State Road Development Corporation Ltd. (KSRDCL), besides appointing a couple of other party workers directors of the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), mainly to take on the all-powerful Reddy brothers and negate their influence in the district.

However, many functionaries of the party feel that such decisions should have been taken at least a year ago when the Reddy brothers became alienated from the BJP. A few veteran leaders of the party say that there is no use in appointing the loyalists to various boards and corporations at a time when the term of the government ends in a couple of months.

It was an open secret that the BJP in Bellary district, and the government in the State, were under the control of the Reddy brothers, comprising mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, his close associate B. Sriramulu, and his elder brother G. Karunakar Reddy, who were Ministers in the B.S. Yeddyurappa-led Cabinet. It was after their entry into the party that the BJP, which was limited to a few pockets in the district till then, gained enough ground and also, for the first time, clinched the Bellary Lok Sabha seat that was held by the Congress since 1952.

Power lost

In addition, the BJP won three Assembly seats in 2004. During the 2008 elections, the BJP, under the Reddy brothers, won eight out of the nine Assembly seats in Bellary district, besides retaining the Lok Sabha seat in 2009. They lost power after Mr. Yeddyurappa stepped down as Chief Minister after he was indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Later, the Reddy brothers, except Mr. Karunakar Reddy who continued to be in the BJP, took serious exception to not being inducted into the D.V. Sadananda Gowda-led Cabinet and began distancing themselves from the party. Mr. Sriramulu resigned as MLA in protest against the party leaders for not supporting Mr. Janardhan Reddy when he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for illegal mining. He went on to contest against the BJP in the bypoll and won by a huge margin, besides floating a new party, the BSR Congress.

The Reddy brothers, even after the arrest of Mr. Janardhan Reddy, who has been in jail since September 5, 2011, continued to call the shots and took the zilla panchayat, a couple of taluk panchayats, and the city corporation under their control.

Such being the situation, the question arises as to whether belated efforts by the BJP to appoint loyal party workers to some important posts will serve the purpose of overpowering the mighty Reddy and securing control of the district.

  • Some loyalists say the revival measures should have been initiated at least a year ago

  • BSR Congress of Sriramulu has taken control of ZP, a couple of TPs and corporation