Senior Congress leader A.H. Vishwanath, MP, has admitted that the Congress failed in raising its voice against the misrule of the Reddy brothers in Bellary district and also over the failure of the BJP Government to curb it.
Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Mr. Vishwanath said that Bellary, which had seen leaders and parliamentarians who had held the district's flag aloft, had now become a “mockery of democracy” going by the identical statements by Chief Minister D.V. Sandananda Gowda and the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa that they had committed a mistake by “pledging” Bellary to the Reddy brothers.
Coming down heavily on the BJP, especially Mr. Yeddyurappa for not reining in the Reddy brothers besides allowing anarchy to prevail followed by loot of mineral resources, Mr. Vishwanath said that the BJP high command and the State leadership should be equally held responsible for the state of affairs in Bellary.
“The Congress, on its part, barring organising a 300-km ‘padayatra', that too limited to illegal mining, failed to project the problems of the people of the district and the misrule of the Reddy brothers. I feel that the Congress was also guilty to some extent to come to the rescue of the people and fight to end the anarchy that prevailed here,” he said.
Mr. Vishwanath criticised State Janata Dal (Secular) president and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy for joining hands with B. Sriramulu, a representative of the Reddy brothers, unmindful of the fact that they (Reddy brothers) had tarnished his image by accusing that he had accepted Rs. 150 crore from the mine owners of Bellary.
Stating that the bypoll was to liberate Bellary from the anarchy and the misrule of the Reddy brothers and also from the BJP, Mr. Vishwanath appealed to voters to think about the miseries they suffered and vote for the Congress candidate. “I also urge the authorities to initiate all necessary steps to strengthen security to check electoral malpractices and ensure free and fair polling.”