CBI sleuths arrest Janardana Reddy in an early morning raid at his residence barely 24-hours after Sriramulu resigned. Rumour is that rival party engineered arrest to thwart plan of new outfit
Barely a day after Sriramulu announced his resignation as a BJP legislator allegedly to form a new political outfit with the Reddys, G Janardana Reddy's arrest by the CBI came as an early morning shock yesterday. Speculations did the rounds as the scale of the development dawned and some believe that a rival group orchestrated Janardana's arrest in a bid to thwart plans of forming the new outfit.
Nipped in the bud: Experts suspect the hand of political rivals behind the arrest of G Janardana Reddy a day after his aide Sriramalu announced that they were going to float a new party
Sources also said that the developments are a result of a fallout due to the Bellary mining baron's recent dalliance with a section of the Congress. Though Sriramulu announced his resignation, he kept the option of going with Congress open, while he was also in talks with the JD(S).
Screeching halt Sources said that the Reddys were preparing to form a pressure group against the BJP after taking some of the local Congress leaders into confidence. The plan was either to merge the newly formed party with the Congress when the polls were called, or to have a tacit understanding with the party.
The plan was almost executed with Sriramulu meeting top leaders of the party, while local leaders, including Siddaramiah, leader of the opposition in the assembly, were sympathetic to the idea. Regarding who was behind engineering the arrest of Janardana, a source said, "It is the result of internal rivalry within the Congress. While a group befriended the Reddys, a rival camp wanted to check their advances. Sriramulu's resignation announcement provided the opportunity and they (rivals) struck."
Not buying Jaganmohan Reddy, who is privately longing for a compromise with the Congress high command after rebelling against it, was also a target of the rival stint. He is close to the Reddy brothers and was hoping for a compromising formula through them, while he is also facing CBI cases. Meanwhile, the Siddaramiah camp refused to buy the theory and Siddaramiah's spokesperson B S Shivanna said, "It is a ridiculous speculation. Siddaramiah led the historic march to Bellary protesting illegal mining indulged in by the Reddys. How can he join hands with them now? in fact, the credit of Janardana's arrest should go to him."
Within the fold Internal bickering in the BJP high-level leadership is also believed to have brought about Janardana's arrest and a section of senior leaders in the capital are understood to be behind it. However, the development has given reason for Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to smile, as the rebellion led by Sriramulu has suddenly died down and no BJP legislator dares to be identified as co-conspirators.
Visibly perturbed by the sudden development, Sriramulu cancelled registration of his new political party yesterday. While his and G Karunakara Reddy's arrest has not been ruled out, he is said to have been pleading with the BJP high command to not consider his resignation.
"I had said there was no threat to my government from anybody. Sriramulu was never into de-stabilising the government, but it is up to the party high command to take a call on his case. As far Janardana Reddy's case is concerned, I hope he will come out clean," said Sadananda.
Rude awakening >> Rude awakening The CBI swooped down on Janardana's residence in Bellary early yesterday morning, while simultaneous raids were being carried out at his residence in the city as well as residences of Sriramulu and Karunakara Reddy. >> The team comprising ten officers took Janardana into custody and recovered 30 kg of gold and Rs 3 crore in cash during the raid. He has been booked under section 120(B) for criminal conspiracy against the state, and sections 419 and 420 for forging documents to cheat. >> A few cases under the Indian Forest Act have also been slapped against Janardana and he was produced before the CBI special court in Hyderabad and was sent to judicial custody for 14 days.