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Janardhana Reddy's remark on death of Siddaramaiah's son sparks outrage

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Bengaluru, Oct 31: Mining baron G Janardhana Reddy has found himself at the centre of a row over his purported remarks about the death of former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah's son with the BJP asking him to tender an apology, even as it drew Congress' ire.

In an interview to a local news channel recently, Reddy purportedly referred to the death of Siddaramaiah's son as "God's punishment", as he accused the Congress leader of keeping him away from his children by sending him to jail for four years, by "misusing" the chief minister's office.

Janardhana Reddys remark on death of Siddaramaiahs son sparks outrage

"For keeping me away from my children, God has punished him," Reddy reportedly said. Siddaramaiah's son, Rakesh Siddaramaiah had died of multi-organ failure at a hospital in Belgium in July 2016.

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Condemning the remarks, BJP state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa demanded that Reddy apologise.

"Janardhana Reddy's comment about the death of Siddaramaiah's son is something that does not give grace to him. I condemn it. I also demand that Janardhana Reddy should apologise," he told reporters at Shivamogga Wednesday. Siddaramaiah hit out at Reddy's remarks and said, "The former minister lacks culture and humanity".

"In politics we may criticise each other, that is different, but bringing family into it is not good. People will not accept it," he said. In a tweet Tuesday, Siddaramaiah had said, "Janardhana Reddy has said my son's death is god's punishment to me. I pray to god, not to punish your children for your sins".

Reddy's remarks drew sharp reaction from several Congress leaders and ministers, including D K Shivakumar and R V Deshpande. BJP leaders-- former deputy chief minister R Ashoka and former minister Suresh Kumar, both MLAs, said it was wrong to make personal comments about someone's death.

The saffron party has kept itself away from Reddy who has, however, been making remarks in favour of the party. BJP national president Amit Shah had, ahead of the state assembly polls, maintained that Reddy, an accused in an illegal mining case, has nothing do with the party.

Also Read | Did you know the first by-election in Mandya was held in 1968

The tainted mining baron's confidant and state senior BJP leader B Sriramulu's sister J Shantha is contesting the November 3 by-polls from Reddy's home turf of Ballari Lok Sabha constituency.

PTI

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