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CM Kumaraswamy Led Plot to Finish Me, Says Janardhana Reddy After Bail in 'Bribery' Case

Reddy claims that Kumaraswamy had hatched a plot to get him arrested during his previous tenure as the chief minister in 2006 for making a Rs 150 crore bribery allegation against him.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:November 15, 2018, 4:58 PM IST
CM Kumaraswamy Led Plot to Finish Me, Says Janardhana Reddy After Bail in 'Bribery' Case
A combination photograph of Janardhana Reddy (L) and Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy (R).

Bengaluru: On Wednesday evening, mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy walked out of central jail on the outskirts of the city after obtaining conditional bail in an alleged Ponzi scam. He was smiling and looked confident. Unlike in the past, he spoke to the waiting media for over 45 minutes, defending himself and attacking Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for his plight.

Reddy had a reason to smile. A local court had granted him bail after expressing doubts over police claims about his involvement in the Ponzi scam. He was out of jail in just four days and termed his release as a slap in the face of the police and the Karnataka government.

Speaking to media, Reddy said, “The court itself is not convinced about my involvement. The judge has expressed displeasure over the manner in which I was arrested. The case is collapsing. I have nothing to do with this Ponzi company scam. Those who are trying to finish me for no reason will pay for it.”

After the ruling JD(S)-Congress combine won the Bellary Lok Sabha by-election by a huge margin, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru police arrested Reddy in an alleged Rs 500 crore Ponzi company scam.

According to the police, the former Karnataka minister had received 57kg gold bars worth Rs 18 crore to protect “Ambident” company owner Syed Fareed in an Enforcement Directorate related case. “Ambident” had collected deposits from the public promising huge returns in the short term and had defaulted. During his arrest the police claimed that Reddy’s secretary Ali Khan had facilitated the deal by acting as a middleman between Reddy and Fareed.

But the overzealous police seem to have failed to establish Reddy’s links in the court and he walked out of jail in just 96 hours vowing to exact revenge. It seems to be leading to another round of bitter fight between Reddy and Kumaraswamy.

Reddy claims that Kumaraswamy had hatched a plot to get him arrested during his previous tenure as the chief minister in 2006 for making a Rs 150 crore bribery allegation against him.

“He could not get me arrested then. Kumaraswamy is like a snake. He has now taken revenge on me by sending me to jail. Because of an honest judge I have come out immediately. It is a false case. Actually my secretary Ali Khan’s entire family has been cheated by “Ambident” company. We are the victims, not criminals. We were planning to go to the police against them. A panicked Fareed met me requesting me not to complain to the police promising to return money to all investors. On humanitarian grounds, I agreed. A picture was taken at that time. The police are using the same picture to link me to the scam. Is it evidence?” an angry Reddy said.

He said Ali Khan has assured the court that he would return the money as he was not aware that public money was used to buy gold bars.

Claiming that Kumaraswamy was abusing his office to settle personal scores, Reddy said that he is not going to keep quiet if they don’t put an end to harassment.

“After I got out of jail in a CBI case related to illegal mining, I have been keeping a low profile. I am not interfering in anything. But Kumaraswamy is troubling me just because he is the CM. I advise him to focus on the development of Karnataka. He has become chief minister in a lottery with just 37 MLAs. He should not forget that,” Reddy warned.

He also took potshots at the BJP for disowning him after taking a lot of big favours from him over the years.

According to legal experts, the case against Reddy is weak and the police seem to have acted in a hurry under pressure to “fix” him. The ED has issued a clarification saying that it was not investigating any case against “Ambident” in India, strengthening Reddy’s claims of witch-hunting.

Speaking to News18, Kumaraswamy rubbished Reddy’s claims. “I don’t know what to say? Don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The police acted on their own on the basis of complaints. I have nothing to do with this case. Janardhana Reddy is frustrated. His own party BJP has disowned him. Yeddyurappa himself has said that if Reddy has done any crimes, he should pay for it. Reddy used to run a mafia. We have put an end to it”.

Meanwhile, Reddy has demanded that Kumaraswamy should order the state police to give him round-the-clock security. “If something happens to me, he will be responsible for that,” Reddy warned.

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