Friday, January 11, 2013

The private Helipads are coming up in Bidar.

With former minister G Janardhana Reddy languishing in jail, his trusted lieutenant B Sriramulu, who is heading the BSR party, has hit upon a novel idea for campaigning in eight districts where he and the Reddys have a clout.

Sriramulu is in the process of setting up eight helipads in North Karnataka to ensure that Reddy completes his poll campaign in quick time in case the former minister is not granted bail.

The private helipads are coming up in Bidar, Gulbarga, Koppala, Bagalkote, Raichur, Belgaum, Chitradurga and Haveri. The land for the helipad is being sponsored by party members and the plot size varies from half an acre to one acre. Each helipad costs more thanRs.25,000 for development.

"We are hoping that our leader (Reddy) will be out of jail by the time elections are declared. We will seek the court's permission for Reddy to campaign if he doesn't get bail. We are preparing for all alternatives," S Betageri, chairman, campaigning committee, BSR Party said.

Janardhana Reddy was known for using luxury SUVs and MUVs during the poll season. However, this time choppers will be used as the two leaders have decided to heli-hop across the state in their race against time. Reddy, facing trial in the illegal mining scam, is getting no relief from courts despite repeated pleas.

Reddy's counsel will seek at least four days' permission for Reddy to campaign and heli-hopping will allow him to reach out to as many voters as possible, even in remote areas where the party has its vote bank, according to Betageri.

While Reddy's counsel recently moved court in Andhra Pradesh, seeking the release of his chopper, Rukmini - a Bell 407 - which was seized by the CBI after his arrest, the BSR party is planning to use it during election campaigning.

To ensure their plans don't go awry, they will also rent a six-seater helicopter for six months for poll-related use, Betageri said.

Reddy, known for his lavish lifestyle, would earlier commute between cities by chopper, even heli-hopping between Bellary and Bangalore for breakfast. But this time, it is not a luxury, it has become a necessity.

It is more than a year since Reddy is languishing in the jail. The BJP has severed ties with the Reddys after they were named in mining scam. Subsequently, the Reddys launched their political outfit, which is headed by Sriramulu.

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