Mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy emerges victorious in Gangavathi

Reddy had launched the Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha party a few months ago, after severing ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Gali Janardhana Reddy
Gali Janardhana Reddy
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Mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy is elated after emerging victorious in Gangavathi in the Karnataka Assembly elections. Reddy, who was pitted against Iqbal Ansari of the Indian National Congress, polled 65,791 votes in total, which is 41.41% of the total votes. The people of the region have given the former Karnataka minister, who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP) party, another chance. Reddy had launched a new party after vowing to defeat the BJP. Ansari polled 57,674 votes, which is 36.3% of the total votes. BJP’s Paranna Ishwarappa Munavalli finished third with 28,918 votes, securing a vote share of 18.2%.

During the campaign phase, speaking to TNM about why he decided to launch KRPP, Reddy had said he had his own dreams for the people, and that equality and social justice will be the main ideology of the outfit. “I have been into public life since I was young. I launched the party because I have my own dreams and plans for this region and entire Karnataka,” he said.

The KRPP, launched in December 2022, tested the waters in nearly 47 seats. Reddy had told TNM that his party would emerge victorious in nearly 25 seats. He had also said it was the BJP that had deserted him. “When I was in trouble, they did not even make a statement. They have no gratitude for any of the BJP leaders.”

KRPP resorted to a show of strength on the day Reddy filed his nomination from Gangavathi constituency, which falls in Koppal district. The procession began from the KRPP office off Kanakagiri office and culminated at Krishnadevaraya Circle. Reddy’s wife Aruna Lakshmi and daughter Brahmani Rajiv Reddy had accompanied him. Reddy had exuded confidence that the KRPP would come to power in Karnataka, with absolute majority, in a few years.

Gangavathi had always witnessed a triangular battle between the Congress, the BJP, and the JD(S). The KRPP, a new entrant into the battle, was confident of making its presence felt. Reddy couldn’t contest from his home district of Ballari because of a court-imposed restriction to enter the district. Reddy is accused of engaging in illegal mining of iron ore in Karnataka’s Ballari and Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur, and of defrauding the government. Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde had in his 2011 report revealed in detail the extent of the large-scale irreversible degradation of the environment, the losses, and scandals in the mining belt by Reddy and his brothers, Somasekhara Reddy and Karunakara Reddy.

When Reddy was at the peak of his political career, he and his brothers and aides allegedly controlled every aspect of the administrative and political affairs of the region for over a decade. Reddy was arrested in September 2011 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and has been out on bail since 2015.


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