New Delhi/Bangalore: Stepping up its attack
on BJP over issue of illegal mining in Karnataka after the
arrest of its former minister, Congress on Tuesday demanded a CBI
probe into such activities in the state and an inquiry into
alleged business ties of its top leaders with mining magnates
BJP, which appeared to be on its back foot, expressed the
hope that G Janardhan Reddy, who was the Tourism and
Infrastructure Development Minister in the previous B S
Yeddyurappa government, will come out clean but maintained the
whole issue was related to his private business and not to the
While Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda
refused to react to the development, state BJP President KS
Eshwarappa alleged that the CBI is working under the shadow of
the ruling party at the Centre.
"The arrest of Janardhana Reddy proves the CBI is under
the shadow of the Congress," Eshwarappa told reporters at the
district headquarters town of Shimoga.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla
said the law is taking its course in the case.
"You all know that the Government does not interfere in
the functioning of the CBI. The CBI is investigating the
matter and they must be proceedings according to their
investigation. You should have faith in them," he said in
Training his guns at the top BJP leadership, Congress
leader Digvijay Singh, who was in Jammu, demanded an inquiry
into alleged "business ties" of Sushma Swaraj and M Venkaiah
Naidu with Reddy brothers. The Leader of Opposition said she
was ready for any probe.
Union Minister M Veerappa Moily said the arrest of Reddy
by CBI following an Andhra Pradesh High Court order in the
illegal mining case was a "lesson" for those occupying high
offices not to misuse their position.
"When you totally abuse the rule of laws, this will
happen.... This is a lesson for everyone who occupy office as
a minister or officer that they should not misuse the office,"
said Moily, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Chikkballapur in
He also hit out at Yeddyurappa, accusing him of
"unabated" and "gross abuse" of authority.
Alleging that BJP came to power through money gained by
illegal mining, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President
G Parameshwara said, "If Reddy and the BJP are confident that
he would come clean on the issue, a CBI investigation would
settle the issue once and for all".
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, "All these facts
about the Bellary brothers were already in public domain".
He also dismissed BJP`s criticism that the action was
an example of the misuse of CBI.
"That is an obvious and expected reaction from the
BJP. It should not be given any credence," Tewari said.
Janardhan Reddy and Managing Director of Obalapuram
Mining Company BV Srinivas Reddy were arrested by CBI after
searches at their premises allegedly led to seizure of over 30
kg of gold and more than Rs 4.5 crore in cash.
Former Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde too favoured
handing over the probe into illegal mining in the state to the
CBI, maintaining that the Obalapuram Mining Company indulged
in such activity.