Sriramulu resigns to float new party with Reddys?

Sep 05, 2011, 08:00 IST | B V Shiva Shankar
B Sriramulu resigned yesterday from the BJP citing humiliation in the party. He is believed to be chalking out further plans with Bellary mining barons, while BJP leadership is urging him to reconsider the hasty decision
With B Sriramulu doing a Jagan Reddy in Karnataka and resigning, the Reddy brothers are now planning to form a political party under Sriramulu's leadership and are considering naming it BSR Congress (BSR stands for B Sriramulu).

Pressure Tactics? With a handful of BJP MLAs on their side, the Reddys
are reportedly planning to form a political party under Sriramulu's
leadership and are considering naming it BSR Congress
(BSR stands for B Sriramulu)

This they have planned with a handful of BJP MLAs on their side, and the objective is to use the outfit as a pressure group to work in state as well as national politics. Sriramulu, who was health minister in the B S Yeddyurappa cabinet and 'Yes Man' to the Reddy brothers, resigned as a BJP MLA yesterday citing humiliation in the party. Jaganmohan Reddy had earlier formed the YSR Party in Andhra Pradesh after rebelling against the Congress high command, and his presence in the city yesterday was not a mere coincidence.

BJP's new nemesis: G Janardana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy
have allegedly joined hands with B Sriramulu, who resigned from the
BJP yesterday. File pic

He is believed to be involved in chalking out a further plan of action with political comrades and mining barons from Bellary, G Janardana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy. Meanwhile, a visibly shaken BJP leadership attempted to get Sriramulu to reconsider his decision and Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda said that the decision taken by the MLA was hasty.

All in the name?
"The plan is yet to be finalised, but it is sure that the Jagan will be supporting the Reddy brothers. Plans will be made with the political situation in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the forefront," said a source close to the Reddys.

With a handful of BJP MLAs on their side, the Reddys are reportedly planning to form a political party under Sriramulu's leadership and are considering naming it BSR Congress (BSR stands for B Sriramulu).
While BSR Party rhymes with Jagan's YSR Party, other names in consideration are Janasri Party (Jana stands for Janardana Reddy and Sri stands for Sriramulu -- also, a news channel owned by the Reddys is named Janasri) and Srirama Party.

With Jagan hoping to get a handful of seats in the next elections in AP, the Reddys are planning to form the new party with great hope in the state and the coalition of the parties would form a pressure group in the state as well as in national politics.

While the formation of the new party would take time, the immediate target is the Koppal by-polls, which has resulted from the sitting JD (S) MLA Karadi Sanganna resigning to defect to the BJP. The polls are scheduled for September 26 and Sriramulu is expected to contest as an independent candidate with the support of the JD(S).
"Nothing has been decided as yet. I learned that Sriramulau has resigned to protest humiliation in the BJP, but he has not talked to us and I would not like to respond to speculations. We have taken the Koppal by-polls seriously and will decide on the candidature in a day or two," said H D Kumaraswamy, state president of the JD(S).

A source in the party said even if the JD(S) puts up a candidate, it would be a weak candidature aimed at helping Sriramulu if he enters the fray. Sriramulu is also toying with the idea of contesting from Bellary, from where he resigned as an MLA, or will support a JD(S) candidate from Koppal (polls begin on September 26).
The Reddys along with Sriramulu were irked as they were in the Yeddyurappa cabinet, but were denied berths in the Sadananda Gowda cabinet when he took over as the chief minister exactly a month after Yeddyurappa stepped down because he was indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Driving force?
Furthermore, they bristled when V Somanna, who is linked to the illegal mining scam, was taken into the newly formed cabinet, but there were ignored. Senior leaders including Sushma Swaraj chose to ignore them and this had hurt the Reddy brothers and they turned rebel.

"I have been included in the Lokayukta report for no reason and nobody in the party is ready to hear my side. My self-respect is hurt and I decided to tender resignation," said Sriramulu at a jam-packed press conference.
He said several legislators were with him, but he did not allow them to accompany him because he didn't want to take the blame of toppling the Gowda government.

While he did not mention details of his plans to float a new party, Sriramulu said he would reach out to the masses with his appeal. He drove to Madikeri, where speaker K G Bopiah was holidaying at this hometown, to tender the resignation after the press conference.

All fired up
A powerful leader of the politically significant Nayaka community, Sriramulu said that the Lingayat community was backing him. His move triggered protests across the state, while a couple of his supporters attempted self-immolation. Some 35 members from Bellary offered to resign, while a few MPs including his sister, representing Bellary in the Lok Sabha, openly supported Sriramulu. A visibly shaken BJP leadership flew into damage control exercises and started pursuing Sriramulu to reconsider his decision. "I think it is a hasty decision and the senior leaders of the party are talking to him. I hope Sriramulu will reconsider his decision and continue to be with
us," said Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

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