G. Janardhana Reddy
|Gali Janardhana Reddy|
31 May 2008 – 3 August 2011
|Member, Legislative Council|
18 June 2006
11 January 1967 |
|Political party||BSR Congress|
|Occupation||Businessman (GJR Group CMD)|
|Website||Legislative Council Page|
Gali Janardhana Reddy(Kannada: ಗಲಿ ಜನಾರ್ಧನ್ ರೆಡ್ಡಿ ), born on 11 January 1967 is an Indian politician with the BSR Congress party (formerly with the Bharatiya Janata Party) and one of the richest politicians of Karnataka. He obtained his first iron ore mining license in Karnataka in 2004, when the Congress party led the state government. He has subsequently been implicated in the illegal mining scandal in Bellary and the related Belekeri port scam. In 2009, a Supreme Court of India-appointed central empowerment committee recommended action against Reddy-owned Obulapuram Mining Company. An FIR in the case was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Also, Santosh Hegde, the Lokayukta or ombudsman of Karnataka state, had indicted Reddy and his two brothers, all of whom were cabinet ministers in the BJP's Karnataka state government at the time, in the mining scandal.
After being arrested and sent to judicial custody, all three Reddy brothers (and the then CM B. S. Yeddyurappa) were removed from their ministerial positions. Subsequently, they broke away from the BJP. While Yeddyurappa formed the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) party, the Reddy brothers joined up with B. Sriramulu to form the BSR Congress party.
Janardhana Reddy and his brothers G. Karunakara Reddy and G. Somashekara Reddy were born into the family of police constable Chenga Reddy, and grew up in Bellary. He and his brothers transformed themselves in less than a decade from industrialists into political bosses who dominated local government in the Bellary district, which holds the state's richest iron ore deposits.
Janardhana never had a college education. He came into the limelight during the Lok Sabha elections in 1999, when the Reddy brothers worked in the campaign for Sushma Swaraj after she stood as a long-shot candidate in Bellary, against Sonia Gandhi. Though Swaraj lost, she remained a patron of the Reddys, and was known to visit Bellary frequently. However, after the mining scandal broke out and the Reddy brothers were indicted, chargesheeted and sent to judicial custody, Swaraj distanced herself from them, and all three Reddy brothers were expelled from the BJP's state government in Karnataka as well as from the party itself.
Business history, growth of influence and wealth
In 1998, Janardhana Reddy's finance company, Ennoble India Savings, collapsed, leaving unpaid debts of over Rs. 200 crores. However, by 2008, he and his wife declared assets of Rs. 1.15 billion. The Reddy brothers obtained their first lease for an iron mine in 2004 when the Indian National Congress party led the government in Karnataka state. Since then, their rise has been meteoric, driven by soaring commodity prices, primarily due to demand for iron ore from China.
Involvement in Karnataka politics
The state government headed by B. S. Yeddyurappa of the BJP, requiring the support of a group of legislators aligned with Reddy, was in a precarious position in mid-2009. In a compromise with Yeddyurappa, the Reddys forced the removal of Karnataka minister Shobha Karandlaje and chief secretary V.P. Baligar, and obtained ministerial berths for themselves.
In August 2011, D. V. Sadananda Gowda of the BJP succeeded Yeddyurappa as chief minister of Karnataka and did not include the Reddy brothers in his cabinet of ministers. Subsequently, Yeddyurappa broke away from the BJP to form his own party, the KJP. The Reddy brothers broke away to form BSR Congress with B. Sriramulu.
Involvement in Andhra Pradesh politics
Born into a Telugu-speaking family, Janardhana Reddy also wields considerable influence in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. He was close to former chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and his son Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. It is alleged that it was this influence that he wielded with the Congress party that enabled him to obtain the iron ore mining license in Bellary from the Congress state government in Karnataka in 2004. Jaganmohan Reddy is also reported to have a business interest in Brahmani Steels. The loss of political support resulting from the death of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has increased the scrutiny of Janardhana Reddy's mining activities. The CBI is running two parallel investigations in Hyderabad into the illegal mining activities of Janardhana Reddy and the allegations of corruption against Jaganmohan Reddy.
Implication in 2011 Lokayukta report on Illegal Mining
In July 2011, the Lokayukta of Karnataka, Santosh Hegde, published a report on the illegal mining activities in the Bellary region. Janardhana Reddy was accused of completely rigging the iron ore mining in this area and defrauding the government. Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation officials had clues to tax evasion and found that Reddy had entered into a MoU with a one-dollar company of Singapore to camouflage the company's income suppression. They raided the place along with other investigative agencies and formed a report which was the basis of the report on illegal mining. Reddy is said to have designed a "Zero-Risk system" of iron ore mining, where he seamlessly provided protection to unauthorized and unaccounted mining, with active connivance from government officials at all levels. The rule of the iron ore mafia under his command was called the "Republic of Bellary" in which no external control or governance mechanism had any effect.
Janardhana Reddy was arrested on 5 September 2011 by the CBI, and taken to Hyderabad, the capital of the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh. He is accused of being involved in illegal mining of iron ore in Bellary in Karnataka and Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. This investigation is the culmination of a recommendation to Income Tax Department and CBI by the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister K. Rosaiah and not directly related to the findings of Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde. After the CBI court heard his lawyers representations, he along with his brother-in-law, B. V. Srinivas Reddy was remanded to judicial custody and sent to Chanchalguda Jail. The CBI in its ongoing investigations also arrested senior officers of the IAS and IRS. A CBI court on 4 August 2012, extended the judicial custody of Janardhana Reddy and four others arrested in the illegal mining case till 7 September.
Allegation of Judicial Bribery
The CBI is also investigating the alleged bribing of Hyderabad Special Court judge T.Pattabhirama Rao to secure bail for G. Janardhana Reddy in the Obulapuram Mining Company case, by his family members (G.Somashekar Reddy & H.Suresh Babu). Further investigations by CBI implicated others, including a retired judge T.V. Chalapathi Rao, in the "Cash for Bail" scandal.
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