Janardhana Reddy launches party, to fight Karnataka poll

He plans to contest Assembly election from Gangavati in Koppal district

Updated - December 26, 2022 02:17 am IST

Published - December 25, 2022 03:06 pm IST - Bengaluru

Former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy addressing the media in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy addressing the media in Bengaluru on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Ending weeks of speculation over his political moves, the former BJP leader and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy on Sunday announced the launch of his new party — Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha — that will fight the 2023 Assembly elections. The former Minister announced that he would contest from Gangavati in Koppal district.

The details of the party symbol, flag, office, officer-bearers, and the number of constituencies to contest across the State would be announced in about two weeks, Mr. Reddy told presspersons here. “My name has been enrolled in the voters’ list in Gangavati and we have taken a house there. I will definitely contest the next elections from Gangavati,” he announced. It will also mark the electoral debut for Mr. Reddy, who has been a member of the Legislative Council before. He said that he and his wife, Aruna Lakshmi, would travel all the 30 districts for campaigning.

Severing links with BJP

While the BJP had distanced itself from the former Minister, who has been accused of illegal iron ore mining in Ballari earlier, Mr. Reddy said he was severing his ties of over two decades with the saffron party. Incidentally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said at the time of the 2018 Assembly elections that the BJP had nothing to do with Mr. Reddy. “Had the party used me fully, it would have got 134 seats instead of 104,” Mr. Reddy said while making known his displeasure about the snubs despite his work for the party since the 1999 general elections when senior BJP leader late Sushma Swaraj unsuccessfully contested against Congress leader Sonia Gandhi from Ballari.

The former Minister, who has been fighting a slew of cases filed against him for alleged illegal mining activities, said, “I had been trapped in a political conspiracy and the launch of the new party was to get out of the trap.” Indirectly attacking BJP leaders, he said, “I am being targeted by my own people.” Recalling troubled times after his arrest, he said, “Only (former Chief Ministers) B.S. Yediyurappa and Jagadish Shettar had lent moral support to my wife and children.”

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