'Captive CBI rescued Reddy brothers': Cong
BENGALURU: In one of its sharpest attack on BJP ahead of next month's Karnataka's assembly election, the Congress on Tuesday put out documents that it said, showed how the federal probe agency CBI had shut down cases in the state's biggest iron-ore mining scandal that had cost BJP's BS Yeddyurappa the chief minister's chair back in 2011. Three mining baron brothers, the Reddy brothers, were at the heart of these mining scandals.
The Congress said the CBI's explanation to rescue the Reddy brothers ranged from the "fanciful" excuse that it could not identify the accused because iron ore from Karnataka and Goa had got mixed up. Another two cases were never really probed by the CBI because it realised after four years that the central government hadn't issued a formal probe order, said Congress media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala at a media briefing in Karnataka capital Bengaluru.
"The Modi government has come to the rescue of what the Kannadiga called the Bellari Gang... responsible for denuding Kannadigas of their rich natural resources through a puppet and captive CBI," Surjewala said. But the Congress government won't let them get away, he said, announcing that the Siddaramaiah government had taken back the cases and would get them probed afresh by state officials. Sons of a police constable, the Reddy brothers were credited with helping the BJP win its first-ever state in south India in 2008 by cobbling together the required numbers when the BJP fell just short of a majority.
This time, two of them - Gali Somashekhara Reddy and Gali Karunakar Reddy - have been named party candidates.
Karnataka BJP spokesperson Vivek Reddy had conceded that the party has "made a compromise" by fielding Somashekhara Reddy since it wanted to win the Bellary city.
But the influence of the brothers in the BJP runs much deeper. The Congress says there are other associates of the Reddy brothers who have been given BJP tickets.
B Sriramulu, the BJP's choice against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from the Badami seat in north Karnataka is one of them. Lallesh Reddy, a realtor and nephew of the brothers, has been fielded from BTM Layout and is expected to give a tough fight to sitting MLA and incumbent home minister R Ramalinga Reddy."People are saying that under PM Modi-Amit Shah, the 'Republic of Bellary' is back," Mr Surjewala said, in a sharp swipe at the BJP leadership as he flung five questions around the co-incidence of the CBI starting to rescue the Reddy brothers from the scandal after BS Yeddyurappa was named the BJP's presumptive chief minister in May 2017.
Isn't it too much of a coincidence that the CBI started closing down the cases within 17 days, he said.