CEC report damning, K`taka must look into mining issue: Guv

Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on Thursday again turned the heat on the BJP government in the state, accusing it of inaction on the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC)`s report on illegal mining.

Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 00:34 AM IST

Bangalore: Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj
on Thursday again turned the heat on the BJP government in the
state, accusing it of inaction on the Supreme Court-appointed
Central Empowered Committee (CEC)`s report on illegal mining.

"Karnataka must seriously look into the issue of illegal
mining in the wake of CEC report on the matter which is
damning", Bhardwaj told agency on the sidelines of a function at
the Raj Bhavan here. "But what can I do? It is (Karnataka
Chief Minister B S) Yeddyurappa`s job to take take action on
it", he said.
The CEC had in its report on April 15 said there had been
illegal mining on a colossal scale in the state, particularly
in Bellary district, with "active" connivance of officials of
the departments concerned and also public representatives.

Bhardwaj hit out at the government for its "failure" act
against the Reddy brothers--G Karunakara and G Janardhana,
accused of being involved in illegal mining.

Asked about today`s seizure of iron ore worth about Rs 6
crore in Sandur taluk in Bellary which was being illegally
transported to Andhra Pradesh, he said "I prosecuted these
ministers (Bellary brothers) who are involved (in illegal
mining) but things did not move any further, the government
did not do anything. I even suggested to Yeddyurappa to drop
them (from the ministry) but he did not do it".

"Now, they will be exposed when CBI files a chargesheet
against them. To tell you frankly, there is no communication
between the Raj Bhavan and the government on these issues
(illegal mining and land scams)", he said.

Bhardwaj said governance in the state was suffering because
of leakage in revenues. "But I can only advise on these
matters, can`t do anything more", he said.

On whether the father-son duo of Shanthi Bhushan and
Prashant Bhushan should remain on Jan Lokpal committee`s
panel in the wake of the controversy over a CD allegedly
featuring the elder Bhushan, a smiling Bhardwaj said "we are
lawyers. We have to defend our clients, he could be anybody. A
Bhushan cannot become an Anna Hazare who is a social
activist".
On Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi branding
Karnataka as the "number one in corruption", Bhardwaj said "I
had a different equation with (Rahul`s) father (Rajiv Gandhi)
who was a good friend of mine. However, I would not like to
comment on this. I do not want to get into Delhi politics. I
am far removed from it".

Earlier, delivering his presidential address on the
conferring a Honoris Causa D. Litt Degree on eminent scientist
C N R Rao by Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) of which
he is the Chancellor, Bhardwaj said there was resentment among
the youth today because of "lack of good governance". The
youth should be made aware of the contributions of our eminent
personalities, Bhardwaj said.

There was an urgent need for the government to focus on
rural education and rural health, the Governor said. There
must be increased allocation for rural education and
universities must set up centres in rural areas to educate the
rural youth, he said. Distance education can play a pivotal
role in this sphere, he added.

Facilities and infrastructure in education, especially
higher education, need to be upgraded, Bhardwaj said.

Lamenting that the administrative set up of our country was
not being reviewed, Bhardwaj said, "It is necessary that
(only) educationists deal with education and there is no
interference from other spheres. For example, judiciary must
be allowed to do its job and executive should not interfere in
it".

PTI