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The Ballari administration in Karnataka apologised for the 'disrespectful' disposal of deceased Covid patients after the video sparked outrage over the 'inhuman' handling of the bodies.
The Reddy brothers believe the move will greatly diminish their influence on the region and benefit disqualified Congress MLA Anand Singh.
Once a Congress stronghold, Ballari saw Sonia Gandhi beat Sushma Swaraj before the controversial Reddy brothers delivered the seat to BJP for 14 years.
Ballari Lok Sabha bypoll is being seen as an extension of the rivalry on display in the May election, when Siddaramaiah defeated Sriramulu from Badami.
The purported sting operation showed BJP candidate Sriramulu trying to facilitate a deal with a relative of then CJI Balakrishnan on behalf of Reddys.
BJP hopes Janardhan Reddy, who faces more charges than most politicians, will deliver most of the 23 seats in his territory — 10% of the assembly’s strength.
Since their rise in 2008, the Reddys have promised to convert Ballari into one of India’s most progressive cities, but nothing has changed on the ground so far.
In November last year, three different CBI branches dropped the investigation into the Rs. 16,500 crore Ballari illegal mining scam. Experts weigh in on BJP's decision to give tickets to family members of the accused.
The CBI had, in November, said it could not take forward the probe into the mining scam. But in March, Siddaramaiah announced an SIT to continue the probe.