“Are Siddaramaiah and Rahul Gandhi incompetent?” asked former BJP Minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy while addressing a gathering at a mass-wedding ceremony in Chitradurga on Monday and took a dig at Siddaramiah.
Janaradhana Reddy said, “Siddaramaiah said that I have looted Rs 1 lakh crore from the state when he conducted a padayatra to Ballari. He promised people that he would return the money to the state exchequer. Later in a Facebook post, he said that I have looted Rs 25,000 crore. Then Rahul Gandhi said I have looted Rs 35,000 crore. They could not extract even Rs 1 crore from me. Are Siddaramaiah and Rahul incompetent?”
He also issued an open challenge to the Congress stating that they would not find any unaccounted money in his name.
“Even when the raids took place in my home, not a single rupee was found. The I-T (Income Tax) officials found crores of money in DK Shivakumar’s (Water Resource Minister) home in Delhi. Who is corrupt now? They will not find a single rupee of unaccounted money in my name,” he said.
The mining baron blamed the Congress-JD(S) coalition government for the lack of development in Ballari and expressed “sadness over not being able to enter Ballari.” He also said that although MLA B Sriramulu has been the only one actively campaigning for the BJP candidate Shantha, she would emerge victorious.
“Siddaramaiah is responsible for the sorry state of affairs in Ballari. They (Congress) have kept me away from Ballari for seven-long years. I have tears in my eyes looking at the plight of my people. Without me, Sriramulu is alone in Ballari. Siddaramaiah and the Congress leaders have flocked together to campaign. But I know that the people of the district have accepted him as their son and will take care of him, ensuring that Shantha does not lose the bye-polls,” Janardhana Reddy added.
He took a dig at the Congress for its inability to hold on to Ballari, which was once its bastion and credited the change to Sriramulu. “Since 2008, Ballari has been a BJP bastion. Sriramulu was the one who made this possible and ensured that the BJP’s flag waved outside every household,” he said.
Alleging that Siddaramaiah lacks humility, Janardhana Reddy said that the former Chief Minister’s “inhumane behaviour” has resulted in “widespread governmental apathy”.
“Siddaramaiah is not doing any good works. Sriramulu means development. He works day and night for the welfare of people,” he added.
He also alleged that the Congress’ allegations against Sriramulu threatening to kill one of its leaders Anil Lad were baseless and that he was ready to discuss the issue with Siddaramaiah openly. Janardhana Reddy was referring to the FIR filed against Sriramulu in 2008 after Anil Lad complained of Sriramulu attempting to kill him.
“I will be in Molakalmuru (in Chitradurga) for the next two days. Registering a case against Sriramulu is an insult to the Valmiki Nayak community. The Chief Minister did not attend the Valmiki Jayanti on the pretext of ill health and insulted the members of this community. Even if Kumaraswamy was unwell, why did DCM Parameshwara not take part in the celebrations?” he said.