During his visit to Mysuru on March 31, BJP's national president Amit Shah said that the party had nothing to do with Janardhana Reddy, the mining baron and former BJP minister accused in massive mining scams. "We (the BJP) have no connection to Janardhana Reddy,"
Barely a month after Amit Shah said this, Janardhan Reddy sat on dais with BJP leaders like BS Yeddyurappa and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa invited mining baron Janardhana Reddy on stage at a rally in Molakalmuru in Chitradurga on Saturday.
The rally was held before Member of Parliament Sriramulu filed his nomination papers for the Assembly elections on May 12. Janardhana Reddy is a close aide of Sriramulu and is set to campaign along with him and back his candidature in Molakalmuru.
Janardhana Reddy was also present during a road rally and when Sriramulu filed his nomination papers.
Visuals show him falling at the feet of Yeddyurappa and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, getting their blessings.
It is not just Amit Shah, but many BJP leaders have repeatedly said that the party has nothing to do with Janardhan Reddy.
In a recent interview with News18, Muralidhar Rao, Karnataka in-charge for the party, said that the party cannot stop him from campaigning.
With today's rally, it however appears that the party is making no attempts to distance itself from Janardhana Reddy.
The mining baron is prohibited from entering Ballari district as per his bail conditions.
In a bid to get circumvent the bail conditions and involve Janardhana Reddy in its campaign, the BJP moved Sriramulu from Ballari to Molakalmuru in Chitradurga.
Two of Janardhana's brothers meanwhile have also been named as candidates. Somashekara Reddy is set to contest from Ballari City while Karunakara Reddy has been named as the candidate from Harapanahalli.
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.