Days after fielding Somashekara Reddy as its candidate from Ballari City constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has followed it up by fielding another Reddy brother - Karunakara Reddy - from Harapanahalli in Ballari district.
This means that two out of three Reddy brothers - Somashekara, Karunakara and Janardhana - who became infamous for their involvement in a mining scam, have managed to come out of political oblivion ahead of polls in the state.
Janardhana Reddy, the only one not to get a ticket from the BJP, is set to back his close associate B Sriramulu, who is the BJP's candidate from Molakalmuru in Chitradurga.
The political fortunes of the three brothers took a hit when they were named by Lokayukta Santosh Hegde in the mining scam in 2011. Since then, the BJP had maintained a studied silence on the topic of the Reddy brothers. Only Karunakara Reddy managed to get a ticket in the 2013 Assembly elections from Harapanahalli while others in the Reddy circle including Sriramulu left the party and started the BSR Congress.
Since then, Sriramulu has been re-inducted into the party and top party leaders were seen publicly attending the wedding of Janardhana Reddy's daughter in November 2016.
However, on March 31, BJP national President Amit Shah, on his visit to Mysuru, said the party had nothing to do with Janardhana Reddy. Yet, in a recent interview with News18, Muralidhar Rao, Karnataka in-charge for the party, said that the party cannot stop him from campaigning.
Not only is Janardhana Reddy campaigning for Sriramulu in Molakalmuru, two of the brothers have also been named as candidates in Ballari district by the party. It appears that the family's political history and influence will continue to play a part in the politics of the region.
Janardhana Reddy is prohibited from entering Ballari according to his bail conditions, which is another reason BJP decided to move Sriramulu from Ballari to Molakalmuru.
Meanwhile, Sriramulu's uncle Sanna Fakirappa too has received a ticket to contest from Ballari rural constituency and actor Saikumar, another close aide of Janardhana Reddy, has been named as the candidate in Bagepalli.