Karnataka mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy has returned to public life after five years of exile.
The former state Tourism Minister attended a rally at the All-Karnataka Reddy community convention in Bengaluru on Sunday, TOI reported.
Reddy's presence received a rousing response from the crowd, leaving most of the leaders stunned. Senior leaders like CM Siddaramaiah and BS Yeddyurappa were present at the event.
Reddy thanked the Reddy community for the support. Referring to the charges of illegal mining, he stated that he did not wish to recount the events that unfurled five years ago, TOI reports.
"The community is equivalent to gold. Its value will never depreciate," Reddy reportedly said.
Reddy expressed his disinterest in politics, although he is still a part of the BJP's Karnataka wing. He said that he no longer stored the ambition of becoming the CM but wished to serve the community instead, the report says.
Reddy was instrumental in restoring the BJP to power in 2004.
Having been arrested by the CBI on the charges of illegal mining in 2011, Janardhana Reddy was granted bail by the Supreme Court in January 2015 on the condition that he does not visit his hometown of Ballari and Kadapa, where his mining companies are situated.
The apex court, however, relaxed its restrictions for 21 days from November 1 to November 21, allowing him to visit Ballari in view of his daughter’s wedding.
In 2014, a special anti-money laundering court attached assets worth Rs 37.86 crore belonging to Janardhana Reddy and his wife in connection with the mining scam. The ED had also frozen his bank accounts, besides attaching properties in Bengaluru and Ballari.