India's 'Most Corrupt Politicians' Accommodated in BJP: Cong's Dig After Reddy's Re-Joining – News18

Last Updated: March 27, 2024, 17:26 IST
New Delhi, India
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh (PTI photo)
The Congress on Wednesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over mining baron G Janardhana Reddy rejoining the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, alleging that “India’s most corrupt politicians” have now been accommodated in the party.
The Congress also asked why has the ruling party rolled the “red carpet for the corrupt” and isn’t the prime minister’s “anti-corruption rhetoric”, completely empty.
Former Karnataka minister Reddy on Monday rejoined the BJP. The Gangavati MLA, who is an accused in an illegal mining case, had formed the Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP) ahead of the state assembly polls last year, snapping his two-decade-old association with the BJP.
Reddy merged his KRPP with the BJP as he, along with wife Aruna Lakshmi and some family members, joined the party in the presence of its veteran leader and former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, state president B Y Vijayendra, and others.
In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “India’s most corrupt politicians, down to the last man, have now been accommodated in the Bharatiya Janata Party. They are motivated by two key factors – 1. Participation: Minimum Government, Maximum Loot. 2. Protection: Join the BJP, evade the ED-IT.” “As the Electoral Bond Scam and the latest joinings in the BJP reveal, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister (Amit Shah) have systematically normalised large-scale corruption in India,” he alleged.
The corporate donations the BJP gets, the state governments they attempt to topple, the mergers and acquisitions they are conducting — they are all evidence of this naked use of money power, Ramesh said.
“The Prime Minister’s slogan is and has always been — ‘Chanda Jamaunga, Dhanda Karaunga, Sabko Khilaunga’,” the Congress leader said.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress’ media and publicity department head Pawan Khera said India’s “biggest Iron-ore mining scam” was unearthed by a report dated 27th July 2011, of the then Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde, which led to exposing of the unholy nexus of the “Yeddy-Reddy Gang” and finally the removal of then BJP Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in August 2011.
Reddy has been arrested four times in seven years for iron-ore mining scam Rs 35,000 crore, Khera said.
He entered politics with the BJP in 1998, managing the Lok Sabha campaign of late Sushma Swaraj in Bellary against Sonia Gandhi, and has now once again “returned to his roots”, the BJP, the Congress leader said.
“Shockingly, Modi government has now become the ‘benefactor, protector, defender’ of the ‘Bellary Gang’ responsible for denuding Bellary of its rich natural resources through a ‘puppet CBI’,” he said.
“Undeterred by the apparent conspiracy of Modi Govt to protect the ‘Bellary Gang’ and put a lid on the Rs 35,000 Crore ‘illegal iron-ore mining scam’, then Congress government had shown the courage of conviction to prosecute and punish the looters of precious natural resources of Karnataka,” Khera said.
The government withdrew the six CBI cases of Goa-Karnataka-Tamil Nadu vide order dated March 19, 2018, he said.
In 2019, a Supreme Court vacation bench of justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi expressed concern over the delay in framing of charges and starting of the trial in the Rs 35,000-crore mining scam, Khera noted.
“We are concerned as to why charges have not been framed and trial yet not started,” the bench said while pulling up the CBI which is investigating the case.
Posing questions for the BJP, Khera asked why is the Modi government protecting, shielding, covering-up the Rs 35,000 crore iron-ore mining scam by shutting down CBI cases, one after the other, despite the scathing Lokayukta Report based on comprehensive evidence, both documentary & pictorial.
“What happened to PM Modi’s latest statements comparing scams and schemes? Is this scheme to scam? Or protect a scamster? Is it not true that there are currently 20 pending cases against Janardhana Reddy? Is it not true that an ex-judge had claimed that Reddy had offered him Rs 40 crore as bribe to secure bail?” he asked.
Why has the BJP then rolled the red carpet for the corrupt, even though they use CBI to arrest Opposition leaders, at the drop of a hat, Khera further asked.
“Would PM Modi and the Home Minister (Amit Shah) explain this sinister conspiracy to put a lid on ‘loot of public money’ and ‘plundering of natural resources’ and facilitating Reddy & Co. in the party?” he said.
“Isn’t PM Modi’s anti-corruption rhetoric, completely empty?” Khera said.
The Congress leader further claimed that the nation has witnessed how BJP used the Extortion Directorate (ED) to fill its coffers through “unconstitutional” electoral bonds.
“Now that the electoral bonds have been discontinued, it wants to return to its old ways of pandering to corrupt gangs who have looted public money under their patronage!” Khera alleged.
Before the assembly polls last year, Reddy had been largely politically inactive for nearly 12 years since his arrest by the CBI for an alleged role in a mining scam. During this period, he had a brief stint ahead of the 2018 assembly polls when he campaigned for his close friend and former Minister B Sriramulu in Molakalmuru Assembly segment.


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