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Sonia should reply to Reddy`s mining activities: Naidu

Last Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 21:54

Hyderabad: TDP president N Chandrababu
Naidu on Thursday said Congress president Sonia Gandhi owed an
answer to the people for turning a blind eye to the alleged
illegal mining activities by Karnataka Tourism Minister Gali
Janardhana Reddy`s mining firm in the state and neighbouring
Andhra Pradesh.

"The Karnataka unit of Congress is fighting the
illegal activities of Gali while the AP unit has been
supporting it. Even the Congress high command too seems to be
supporting the mining mafia," Naidu told reporters.
"It is obvious that the late Chief Minister Y S
Rajasekhara Reddy`s family is hand-in-glove with Gali. Sonia
Gandhi owes an answer to the people on this because the mining
mafia led by the Karnataka minister was looting precious
national wealth," Chandrababu alleged.

"Gali has pumped tonnes of money into the Congress
kitty in Andhra Pradesh. In my Kuppam constituency alone, Gali
spent Rs 20 crore during the April elections to get me
defeated," the TDP president said.

Chandrababu also wondered how the BJP could `own`
people like Gali who became "super rich" in no time at the
cost of public exchequer.

"How can the party allow mafia in its ranks," he
questioned, but hastened to add that the BJP was under Gali`s
pressure and hence unable to act.
Naidu said Gali was "unfit" to be a minister as he
violated the oath taken under the Constitution to protect
public wealth. He, however, refused to either seek Gali`s
resignation or demand his removal from the Karnataka Cabinet.

Referring to claims made by Gali at a press conference
in Hyderabad, Chandrababu asked as to how corruption could be
linked to caste. Also, how could illegal mining be a business
issue when it involved brazen looting of national wealth, he

"It`s a wider issue of mafia-politician-money nexus.
It is a problem to the nation, problem to the society and a
threat to democracy and democratic institutions," Chandrababu

He wondered why the Union Government as well as the
state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were unable
to fight the mining mafia. "They are able to fight terrorists
or Maoists but not the mafia," he said.

Naidu demanded that a multi-disciplinary inquiry, like
the one ordered into the Satyam scandal, be instituted into
the illegal mining activities.

"The Government of India should evolve a transparent
policy on mining immediately and nationalise all mines. Use
the mineral wealth for value-addition or processing which will
help the country," Naidu said.

The CBI inquiry sought by the state government would
actually serve no purpose as the terms of reference were
vague, he added.

The TDP, with the support of parties like CPI, CPI-M,
Rashtriya Lok Dal, Janata Dal (Secular) and others, would
raise the illegal mining issue and the threat of mining mafia
in the winter session of Parliament, he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 21:54

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