Ballari City chooses Congress’s Bharath Reddy over Janardhana Reddy’s wife Aruna

Congress candidate Bharath Reddy, who was contesting the Assembly elections for the first time, won the election by a margin of over 37,500 votes.
A collage of Aruna Lakshmi, Bharath Reddy, and Gali Somasekhara Reddy
A collage of Aruna Lakshmi, Bharath Reddy, and Gali Somasekhara Reddy
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Aruna Lakshmi, who was touted to be Gali Janardhana Reddy’s trump card in Ballari City, has lost from the  constituency. Aruna, who is Reddy’s wife, was fielded from Ballari City because he couldn’t enter the constituency due to the restrictions imposed on him by the apex court. Bharath Reddy, the Congress candidate, who contested the Assembly election for the first time, won the seat after polling a total of 86,440 votes, which is nearly 49% of the total votes polled.

Aruna Lakshmi polled 48,577 votes while Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Gali Somasekhara Reddy, who is Janardhana Reddy’s brother, polled 37,155 votes. Anil Lad, a disgruntled Congress leader, was the JD(S) candidate from Ballari.

Janardhana Reddy couldn’t campaign for his wife because of a ban on him from entering the district. The bail condition was imposed on the former Karnataka minister as the trial in the multi-crore illegal mining case, in which he is an accused, is underway. 

Aruna Lakshmi contested from the new Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP) party, launched by her husband after leaving the BJP. Earlier, speaking to TNM, Aruna had said that she was touched by the love and support she was receiving from the people of the constituency. She said that she strongly believed that the development that the border district saw when Janardhana Reddy was active in the region would resonate with the people of Ballari. She had also said that the political fight in the constituency against her brother-in-law was not an internal family fight but a fight for development.

She had said, “I will not say that this is a fight within the family. Ballari has not seen development in the last 12 years. Janardhana Reddy had developed Ballari around 2008. People know that this is not a fight between two people from the same family. It is a fight for development and that is why I have been fielded. People know who developed Ballari and as the wife of Janardhana Reddy, I am sure they will bless me.”

Ballari has around 2.6 lakh voters, of which women are the majority. Aruna, who is the first woman to contest in Ballari as an MLA candidate, was hopeful that women voters will stand by her. She had also told TNM that if she was voted to power, she would work on a detailed plan for the women in the constituency.

Exuding confidence, Aruna had said, “The people are blessing me and treating me as their own daughter. I will always be thankful for the love they are showering upon me. The love that I am witnessing when I visit their homes is heartening.”

Speaking to TNM, Bharath Reddy too had said that he was confident of winning the election. He had said that if voted to power, he would make Ballari a corruption-free, clean and green city.


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