Former Karnataka minister B Sreeramulu today filed his nomination papers for Bellary Rural Assembly constituency seeking re-election as an independent, a development that prompted BJP to expel him from the party.
Sreeramulu, a close associate of arrested mining baron and former minister G Janardhana Reddy, submitted his nomination papers as an independent for the November 30 bypoll in Bellary, declining BJP offer to field him on its lotus symbol.
BJP MP from Bellary, J Shanta, Raichur MP, Sanna Fakirappa, Somashekara Reddy and H T Suresh Babu (both MLAs) accompanied Sreeramulu while he filed the nomination papers, seeking re-election from the seat vacated by him, apparently protesting his omission in the Sadananda Gowda ministry.
BJP sources in Bangalore said state unit party president K S Eswarappa expelled Sreeramulu for defying the party decision. “I have not betrayed the party. I had worked for the party and gave strength to it. But the party sidelined me, forcing me to seek re-election as an independent candidate”, Sreeramulu asserted after filing nomination papers.
Agitated over denial of ministerial berth and also ignoring his leader Janardhana Reddy, he resigned his assembly membership on August four, which was accepted only last month.
BJP had deputed two teams to persuade Sreeramulu to contest on the party ticket in the bypoll. But the Bellary leader after consulting Reddy, who is lodged in Chanchalaguda jail in Hyderabad and his supporters, decided to disassociate himself from the party.
BJP is now scouting for a candidate for the bye-election.