New Delhi: Former state health minister B Sriramulu who resigned from the BJP will now stand as an independent candidate in the Bellary bypoll to be held on November 30.
This will be a strong test for BJP as bellary is a Reddy stronghold.
Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said that he will campaign against Sriramulu.
Sriramulu is part of the Janadrdhan reddy faction. With Janardhan Reddy in Jail, the bypoll will be a prestige issue for the Reddy faction.
On Tuesday, former Karnataka minister B Sriramulu met his mentor and former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy in a jail here to seek his advice on contesting the forthcoming assembly by-elections from Bellary.
Sriramulu, who resigned as member of Karnataka assembly in September after he was denied cabinet berth in the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministry in the state, met Janardhana Reddy, who is cooling his heels in Chanchalguda Central Jail in an illegal mining case.
He was accompanied by MP from Raichur, Sanna Fakirappa, who is also a close associate of Janardhana Reddy.
Sriramulu told reporters outside the jail after the meeting that he would go by the advice of Janardhana Reddy on contesting the Nov 30 by-elections. He, however, did not spell out whether he would contest as an independent or a BJP candidate.
The BJP member is reportedly planning to contest as an independent but the party is trying to persuade him to be its nominee for the Bellary rural constituency. Sriramulu was indicted by then Karnataka Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice (Retd) N. Santosh Hegde in the multi-crore illegal mining scam in the state.
Following their indictment, Srirarmulu, Janardhana Reddy and his brother G. Karunakara Reddy were not included in in the new BJP ministry headed by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
Janardhana Reddy was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in September in connection with a case of illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh.