Bengaluru: Karnataka’s ruling BJP is worried over mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy’s newly-launched Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP) party, to affect its prospects in the State, especially in the border region with Hyderabad.
According to BJP insiders, although senior leaders have rubbished the development, they have taken a serious note and are strategising against Reddy’s move.
The opposition Congress is already in a celebration mode, as Reddy’s KRRP would split the BJP’s vote, which would ensure the victory of Congress candidates.
Janaradhana Reddy and his brothers were in the forefront along with Sriramulu when the BJP attained power under the leadership of B. S. Yediyurappa in the 2008 State elections.
He played a prominent role in ‘Operation Lotus’ carried out by the party to ensure majority.
However, Lokayukta investigations into the mining scam led to his ouster from the Cabinet and also landed him in jail.
Late Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, his mentor, and the BJP maintained a distance from him and although Sriramulu returned to the saffron party, Janardhana Reddy was kept away.
All off the mining baron’s attempts to reach out to the BJP high command flopped and he went ahead with the announcement of his new party.
Sources in the BJP have said that it will only further create a challenging situation for them in the upcoming Assembly elections.
The saffron party is challenged by the Hindu Mahasabha, Sri Ram Sena, whose leaders had already vowed to defeat the BJP.
Adding to the woes of the BJP, Reddy’s KRPP would significantly damage the saffron’s party’s standings in Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Ballari, Koppal and Vijayanagara districts.
Most of these districts are considered as BJP bastions and Reddy’s entry will harm its prospectus.
Congress leaders explain that the elevation of Mallikarjun Kharge to the post of AICC President, has already lifted up the prospectus of the party.
Kharge hails from Kalaburagi and he is a revered leader of oppressed classes.
Sources said that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has discussed the matter with BJP President J. P. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The saffron party is likely to adopt a new strategy to retain seats in the region.