Tapaal Ganesh, bete noire of mining baron Janardhan Reddy and brothers, has knocked the doors of Janata Dal (United) ahead of Karnataka Assembly elections. Ganesh has decided to contest from Bellary city assembly seat.
Ganesh survived an attempt on his life in Bellary when Reddy brothers were at the pinnacle of power during the BJP rule in the state. Also, he had lost his TNR mining company, located at the Karnataka-Andhra border, due to illegal and uncontrolled mining activities in Bellary.
Tapaal Ganesh spoke to Bellary correspondent of OneIndia about his interest in politics, politics in Bellary and state politics.
Ganesh said, " He is worried about the image of Bellary due to its notoriety for illegal mining. People think without money and muscle power it is difficult to fight elections. I am a fighter. I am confident of winning the election, not overconfident."
"I fought against Janardhan Reddy and his brothers in Supreme Court, who attempted to eliminate him, for destroying mining business. I am one of the men who put Jaradhan Reddy behind bars. As a common man, I fought against Reddy when both state and Centre dilly-dallying to take action against this powerful man. People and media support is my strength. I am in touch with people who stand me."
"I know I am not so resourceful to contest elections, but my financial condition doesn't deter me from fighting elections. There is no hard and fast rule only rich will contest elections. Late George Fernandes is role model for me to take a plunge in politics.
"I will reach out people in my constituency and create awareness against corruption. I will convince my objectives to voters to expand my support base," he further added.
Asked about his campaign against Congress government in Karnataka, he said, "Definitely I will campaign against BJP and the Congress. In the run-up to 2013 assembly elections, Siddaramaiah went on a 'padayatra' from Bengaluru to Bellary against illegal mining. My fight was a big source of strength for him.
After holding onto power, Siddaramaiah has forgotten about illegal mining case and demarcation of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh boundary. In fact, in December, Supreme Court has directed both state governments to submit survey report within 12 weeks. Both the governments are silent now."
"Still, the government has 15-20 days to submit the report to the SC. If he fails to do, I will call CM Siddaramaiah a 'bluffmaster' during my campaign."
In his final comment, Tapaal Ganesh says, " I am not saying I will definitely win the election. I'm an optimist, fighter. My conscience won't let me tolerate wrongdoings. I will seek vote for corruption-free administration. I do not discriminate between my supporters and people who did not vote for me. I am from Bellary, my fight will continue for the welfare of my district and state as well.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|