"There is a secret understanding between Sreeramulu, Reddy brothers and the Congress to destabilise the BJP government", he told the media after addressing a party workers meet in the November 30 poll bound Bellary rural constituency. He alleged that Congress has lured Reddy brothers with a promise that it would help the jailed Janardhana Reddy, arrested in connection with illegal mining probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, if they ousted the BJP government. He feared Sreeramulu and Congress might engage in malpractices during polling day and said government was fully geared up to meet the situation.
Sreeramulu, speaking at an election rally at nearby Sindwal village criticised BJP senior leader L K Advani for supporting the suspensions and asked why BJP had not acted against those who boycotted Advani's Jan Chetana Yatra in parts of Karnataka. His sister J Shanta echoed a similar view while lashing out at the BJP for suspending her.
Earlier, the BJP suspended four legislators of the Reddy camp -- three members of Legislative Assembly and members of Legislative Council for defying the party and continuing to campaign for Sreeramulu, who is seeking re-election as an Independent in the by-poll. It had also suspended its Lok Sabha members, J Shantha (Bellary ST) and Sanna Fakirappa (Raichur).
Sreeramulu, trusted lieutenant of mining barons Janardhana and Karunakara Reddy,quit assembly membership after he was denied a ministerial berth following his indictment along with Reddy brothers in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
Meanwhile Union Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily speaking at a separate press meet took a dig at former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa for asking voters to defeat Sreeramulu for forcing the by-poll.
"In that case all those who contested in bypolls forced by BJP by engineering defections under Operation Lotus should also be punished", he said.