Cong, JDS encouraged mining mafia, colluded with corrupt: BJP
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Last Updated: Monday, May 09, 2011, 19:16
Bangalore: The ruling BJP in Karnataka on Monday sought to turn the heat on Congress and JDS over the raging illegal mining issue by releasing a booklet on the "mess".

Titled "Who is responsible for the mining mess in Karnataka?" it noted that based on the report of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC), the apex court had recently ordered suspension of 19 mining leases.

"It is pertinent to note that all the 19 cases pertain to the periods of previous Congress and JDS governments and not even a single recommendation for mining lease during the present BJP government", according to the booklet, released at a press conference by BJP leader DB Chandre Gowda, also a Lok Sabha member.

Noting that the Supreme Court on May six ordered joint inspection of 99 mining licenses to ascertain whether any illegal mining had taken place outside their leased area, it said not even one of them were granted during the BJP government's tenure.

The BJP charged Karnataka witnessed the birth and growth of "mining lobbies" both for granite and iron ore during the regimes of Congress and JDS governments.

"Both these parties have actively and patiently encouraged the mining mafia and have given a fillip to illegal mining with active collusion of corrupt officers positioned by the then governments", the party alleged.

It was during the period of the then Chief Minister N Dharam Singh that the decision was taken to allow movement of iron ore dumped illegally on "patta" lands by issuing despatch permits, it said.

"This was an extremely damaging decision which the Congress Chief Minister took despite the then Secretary of the Department informing clearly that the sanction of patta lands and transport of such ore is against the law", the booklet said.

Despite this, Dharam Singh ordered issue of permits, it said, adding Karnataka Lokayukta has held this action was against public interest and unlawful and had recommended recovery from Dharam Singh of loss caused to the Government of Rs 23.22 crore.

BJP said the then Governor Rameshwar Thakur who was appointed by the Congress-led government at the Centre, passed orders to drop the case against Dharam Singh citing "flimsy" grounds.

"The state government was not even consulted before the Governor took such a decision. Very conveniently, the Congress Governor decides to drop the case against a Congress Chief Minister despite written recommendation of an independent agency like the Lokayukta!" the party said.


First Published: Monday, May 09, 2011, 19:16

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