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Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 1:24 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 1:24 AM (IST)

‘Tainted’ get BJP ticket in Karnataka

‘Tainted’ get BJP ticket in Karnataka
GS Reddy, brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy, will contest from Bellary

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 16

BJP chief Amit Shah may have publicly distanced himself from “Bellary brothers” but it seems the party cannot do without them if it wants to win in their bastion — Bellary.

The BJP on Monday announced its second list of 82 candidates for the 224-member Assembly elections, which includes G Somashekar Reddy, brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy. Besides him, there are two other candidates on the list with “not-so-clean” records, three defectors, including former Congress leader Kumar Bangarappa — son of late Chief Minister S Bangarappa. He is the BJP candidate from Sorab.

Bearing the stamp of BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, the list includes 31 candidates from the politically powerful “Lingayat” community, to which he belongs, along with 20 “Dalits”.

The biggest surprise, however, is the way the BJP seems to have gone all out to pacify Reddy brothers, whose loyalists have been quite vocal in their unhappiness over Shah’s remarks. Sources say fielding of Somashekar Reddy from Bellary City and another close family associate Sanna Fakkirappa from Bellary (ST) constituency is a clear indication that the saffron party’s focus is on winnability than any other factor.

Janardhan Reddy is an accused in illegal mining case. Somashekar Reddy also faces similar charges along with trying to bribe a judge of the special CBI court to get bail for Janardhan Reddy.

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa’s “tainted” loyalists SN Krishnaiah Setty and Haratalu Halappa also made the cut along with several of his other supporters. Former minister Setty was an accused with BSY in an alleged land scam. Former minister Halappa, who was recently acquitted in a rape case, will contest from Sagar.

Those who openly took on Yeddyurappa have also missed the chance in the list that includes around 10 candidates of Vokkaliga community — another powerful vote bank.

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