Reddys behind bars: Wives plan takeover

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In a move that could see jailed mine baron Janardhan Reddy ensuring he retains control of the BSR Congress Party that his close aide B. Sreeramulu launched with his support, the women of the beleaguered Bellary mine barons’ families are set to take over the political mantle and thereby keep the family’s diminishing support base intact.

Insiders in the Reddy brothers camp say that political novices Gali Lakshmi Aruna, wife of imprisoned former minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, Gali Vijayamma, wife of imprisoned KMF chairman and Bellary City MLA Gali Somashekhar Reddy and wife of jailed Kampli MLA, T.H. Suresh Babu are preparing to step into the fray, to protect the political legacy of their husbands after they were put behind bars.

Mr Janardhan Reddy has been in jail for over 11 months in the illegal mining case lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation in both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and his brother G. Somashekar Reddy and Sreeramulu’s nephew 29-year old Suresh Babu landed in Hyderabad jail in connection with the cash-for-bail scam.

Sources said that there were strong indications Mrs Lakshmi Aruna could take over as honorary president or as working president in Independent MLA B. Sreeramulu’s party. Barring Sreeramulu, neither Mr Janardhan Reddy nor his brother Somashekhar Reddy or Suresh Babu have formally quit the BJP. With polls only months away, the BJP high command has timidly watched as the duo alongside Bellary MP J. Shantha, and Raichur MP Sanna Fakeerappa have openly campaigned for Mr Sreeramulu.

Sreeramulu denies Lakshmi Aruna joining politics
Jailed mine baron Janardhan Reddy’s close associate and BSR Congress party founder president B. Sreeramulu has denied reports that Reddy’s wife Gali Lakshmi Aruna is set to enter active politics and take over the reins from her husband. “We are going through a difficult phase but the question of Ms Lakshmi Aruna entering politics, does not arise at all nor is there any necessity for her to do this” said Mr Sriramulu while speaking to reporters here on Monday.

Mr Aruna had convened a meeting of supporters of jailed Kampli MLA T.H. Suresh Babu, at her residence on Sunday and had tried to instill confidence among them, fuelling speculation that she was planning to take over the reins from her jailed husband. “Don’t feel disheartened by the arrests of Janardhan Reddy, Somashekar Reddy and Babu. I am confident they will be released soon, as they have done no wrong,” she reportedly said.

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