Sushma Swaraj points to Arun Jaitley over Reddy brothers

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New Delhi, May 28: BJP top leadership's cold war is out in the open as the mud-slinging over the infamous Reddy brothers of Bellary acquires a new political dimension. This time the leaders involved are Sushma Swaraj, BJP's leader in the lok-sabha and Arun Jaitley, her counter-part in the Rajya Sabha.

Swaraj has in a bold declaration washed her hands off the Reddy brothers and instead put the blame squarely on Arun Jaitley.

Speaking to a weekly, she said, "There cannot be a bigger lie. Let me tell you the truth, I have no hand in the political making of Bellary brothers. I had nothing to do in making them ministers or building up their stature as political leaders. When the Bellary brothers were made ministers, Jaitleyji was the prabhari (in charge) and Yeddyurappa was chief minister. Venkaiahji and Ananth Kumar were there as senior leaders. Whatever discussions happened, happened between these people. I had nothing to do with it."

Further, re-inforcing the fact that there is a serious cold war brewing between the top brass of BJP leadership, she said, "I do not want to believe there are people in the party who are against me. There are people who are jealous of you. People who cannot see you growing."

Trashing reports of her proximity to the Reddy brothers, she said, "My total interaction with Reddy brothers is limited to one day in the year when I go to Bellary for puja of Varamahalaxmi... For the remaining 364 days, we have no conversations or communication."

She has also claimed, that she had opposed the induction of the Reddy brother's in B S Yeddyurappa's cabinet, she said, "I was opposed to their appointment as ministers, opposed to three members of a family being made ministers. But they (Jaitley, Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar) had some political compulsions which made them appoint the brothers."

But then, she also admitted to have pestered the Reddy brothers to cease their revolt against B S Yeddyurappa in 2009. Remembering the incident, she said, "My only sin was that when there was a rebellion in Karnataka in 2009, and we felt that the government was on the verge of falling, I was told by Rajnath Singh and Karnataka in-charge Arun Jaitley to speak to the Bellary brothers and ensure that the government does not fall. So after that, I spoke to the Reddy brothers. My photograph with them is from that time. It has been printed everywhere and people have been going around saying that I am protector of the brothers."

She also gave an insight in to what happened after her acceptance of the Prime Minister's apology for the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC and then the BJP's continuance of the matter as if in a bid to defy her. She said, "At the end, when the PM said he accepted his mistake, I thought the matter should end there. But after that, when the party president overruled me, I said okay. After all, the party president is supreme. There is nothing more."

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