Judge who acquitted Swami Aseemanand wants to join BJP

DNA India

As Telangana prepares for elections, former judge K Ravinder Reddy, who delivered a verdict in the Mecca Masjid blast case, has expressed a keenness to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), triggering war of words in the state. The judge who had quit hours after delivering the verdict, described the BJP a "patriotic party", one which does not have "family rule". The BJP had put up banners to welcome him, but later developed cold feet to get himin. Reddy, meanwhile, told reporters he was asked to keep plans of joining the BJP on hold, but that no reason was cited. Reddy, the then judge of the special anti-terror court, had on April 16 this year acquitted Swami Aseemanand, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma (also accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts), Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Chowdhary of their involvement in the Mecca Masjid blasts. Former Union minister and Secundrabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya had felicitated him and invited him to join the party. "I also expressed my interest to join as I believe it is a party which has a national interest. It is the only national-level patriotic party and does not have any family-rule," media reports had quoted the judge as saying. However, the BJP rubbished the claim that Reddy has joined its ranks. "He met party president Amit Shah during his recent visit to Hyderabad. But the party has not decided anything on him, whether to employ his services or not," said state BJP president K Laxman.