Bangalore: Hours before he is to submit his report on illegal mining to the government, Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde said on Wednesday that he has recommended action against ministers who had exploited mines and made money out of it.
Speaking to reporters, Hegde said, “I will submit the report to the Chief Secretary SV Ranganath today. I hope the government will act on his report.” The voluminous report runs into over 4,000 pages.
The Lokayukta was guarded about the details of the report and said that everybody should wait for the report to come in public domain. However, he did say that some ministers in the state have exploited the mines for their benefit, adding that the exact amount procured by politicians through illegal mining has been mentioned in the report.
Hegde who is retiring on August 2, said that he would not have been replaced if he had kept quiet on the illegal mining issue. He also made it a point to wish his successor Justice Shivraj Patil all the best.
Clearly these are testing times for Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa as much of the findings are already in public domain, after last week`s leak that indicted Yeddyurappa. Reports have claimed today that the Lokayukta has also suggested action against him.
Besides Yeddyurappa, the Lokayukta`s final report on illegal mining has indicted four Ministers including Reddy brothers-- G Janardhana and G Karunakara-- and B Sriramulu, all from mineral-rich Bellary district. Some other politicians, including JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy and Anil Lad of the Congress have also been named, reports said.
The findings put the loss to state exchequer because of illegal mining between March 2009 and April 2010 at more than Rs 1,800 crore.
Yeddyurappa, who rode out the storm earlier-- whether it`s challenge to his leadership by dissidents or allegations of de-notification of land-- in his three-year tenure, said he would study the report and will "take appropriate action".
The Chief Minister held confabulations with loyalist ministers and senior party leaders yesterday and put up a brave front saying he would continue in his post for another two years, till the end of his term, but also said he would abide by the decision of the party high-command.
In Delhi, the BJP central leadership - concerned over the fate of its only government in the south - is adopting a wait and watch approach. The party has clarified it will go through the voluminous report before taking any decision.
"As stated by our party president, we will wait for the Lokayukta report before taking any decision," BJP spokerperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Delhi.