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Kingdom of Bellary is on the verge of collapse

Last updated on: August 7, 2012 16:41 IST

Kingdom of Bellary is on the verge of collapse

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Vicky Nanjappa

The Republic of Bellary, ruled by brothers Somashekhara, Karunakara and Janardhan Reddy, has been one of the most spoken about places in recent years.

Fancy cars, helicopters, crime and money in abundance, the mining barons were once a symbol of aggression; the Bharatiya Janata Party, which they represented, was totally subservient to them.

However, all that has changed today.

The arrest of Somashekhara Reddy by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday was probably the final straw for the once powerful Reddy brothers. He was picked up on charges of trying to buy bail for his brother Janardhan Reddy, who was earlier arrested in connection with the illegal mining case.

With the two Reddys behind bars and Karunakara staying in the shadows, the strength of this clan is down to literally nothing.

There was a time when the Reddy brothers from Bellary could easily pull out 40 MLAs from the BJP and threaten to bring down the government. There was a never ending flow of cash, which was generated through mining.

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Image: (Top Left) Janardhana Reddy (Top Right) Somasekhara Reddy (Below) Karunakara Reddy


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Kingdom of Bellary is on the verge of collapse

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The Reddy brothers had pinned their hopes on Sriramulu, one of the closest aides of Reddys who had contested and won the Bellary by-elections by a thumping majority. However, he too appears to be cornered now following his alleged involvement in the cash for bail scam. Besides this, there are a host of other cases, including that of illegal mining, where his name figures.

The other brother, Karunakara Reddy is playing it extremely safe. Although it is no secret that he supports BJP rebel Sriramulu, he has decided to play it safe and stay within the BJP.

Adding to the worries of the Bellary lobby is the ban on illegal mining. With the Supreme Court taking a personal interest in the case, their income is under close scrutiny.

The people of Bellary, meanwhile, say that calm has finally returned to their district.

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Image: The palatial mansion of Janardhan Reddy in Bellary
Photographs: From the World Wide Web

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Kingdom of Bellary is on the verge of collapse

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Justice Santosh Hegde, who had exposed the Reddy brothers in his mining report, terms it as the fall of a republic.

"I had mentioned Bellary to be a politico geographic republic and these were the people who were the kingpins of this republic. Looking at how things are going now one could say that their kingdom is on the verge of a collapse," Justice Hegde told rediff.com

"However, I must add that there was always illegal mining in Bellary even before these Reddys came into the picture. But when they appeared on the scene the international market picked up; this was known as the China boom. The (Reddy) brothers, of course, took maximum advantage of the situation."

"Today when I look at what is happening to these people, I would say that the process of justice has just begun. The instrumentality of justice has commenced. However, real justice would be done when all these people are convicted in the mining scam."

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Image: (Inset) Justice Santosh Hegde


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Kingdom of Bellary is on the verge of collapse

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Political experts say that the base that was set up by the Reddy brothers is in disarray at the moment.

The Reddy brothers played a huge role, especially with their money power, in helping the BJP come to power in the state.

The question that now arises is how BJP's fortunes sway following the fall of the Reddys.

Since the past one-and-a-half decades, Bellary had become virtually a BJP bastion. Today, it cannot claim to it as their strong ground. Ironically, no other party in Karnataka has capitalised on the situation and made a pitch for Bellary. It is extremely difficult to point out who Bellary votes for in the next election.

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Tags: Bellary , BJP , Reddy , Reddys

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