Illegal mining: BJP demands dismissal of minister
Bangalore: BJP on Friday demanded dismissal of Karnataka Infrastructure Minister Santosh Lad for his alleged role in illegal mining in the state.
"Lad must be dismissed from the cabinet as his company V S Lad and Sons has been indicted by the then Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for supplying iron ore to the tune of 10,000 metric tons without the permit," former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda told reporters after submitting a memorandum to Governor H R Bhardwaj here.
Gowda said during their tenure, the BJP had ensured resignation of all those persons whose names had appeared in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
"However, this doesn`t seem to be the way of the present regime who are shamelessly shielding the accused," he charged.
Moreover, the recent Supreme Court judgement has permitted CBI to prosecute those involved in illegal mining without seeking state government`s permission, Gowda said.
Furnishing the documents to Bhardwaj, Gowda said V S Lad and Sons company was reconstituted on February 23, 2006 and Lad gained entry as partner from 2006.
"A copy of the partnership deed of the firm and its reconstitution certificate was given to the Governor," he said.
Gowda said the Central Empowered Committee set up by the Supreme Court has categorised V S Lad and Sons as a `C` category mining lessee, who were accused of committing large-scale illegal mining.
Moreover, the Supreme Court in its final judgement has declined the prayer of Lad`s firm for upgradation from `C` category to `B`. "The apex court also directed cancellation of the mining licenses of all `C` category mines," he said.
Gowda also accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of "sheltering" Lad by stating to the press that the documents were not genuine.
"We wonder under what authority Siddaramaiah declared the authenticity of the documents without going into the facts. This exposes malicious intentions of the government to shield the tainted minister," he charged.
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