Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa Friday said in the state Assembly that the
"loot" of iron ore has been going on unchecked since 2003-04
and favoured an inquiry into the matter.
Hitting back at the Opposition after it sharpened its
attack on government on the issue, he said "the loot of iron
ore has been going on since 2003-04 and it happened during the
regimes of H D Kumaraswamy, N Dharam Singh and even during my
"There is a need to put an end to this menace. I am
willing to lead a delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
tomorrow itself to plead for a ban on export of iron ore,"
He offered to place all the records on the floor of the
House and asserted he was firm that the iron ore export should
be banned and the entire natural wealth should be used in the
The Chief Minister also offered to order a probe into the
issue, saying "there should be an inquiry into the matter. The
guilty should be punished. I am ready to do anything. You give
The illegal mining issue came to the fore again with the
resignation of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, who had criticised
the BJP government for being `indifferent` on corruption and
particularly on illegal mining, providing fresh ammunition
to the opposition to attack the government.
During 2004-05 when Congress-JDS coalition was in power,
52.29 lakh tonnes of iron ore was exported illegally from the
state, he alleged and told the opposition "don`t try to hurl
stones at other`s glass house while you yourself have been
living in one of it".
Intervening during the debate on the causes that led to
Hegde`s resignation, Yeddyurappa said "I am not taking any
defence. The menace should end".
Opposition Congress Leader Siddaramaiah questioned why
the government has not taken action against illegal mining
even after two years of coming in power and 18 months after
the Lokayukta submitted its report.
"All those involved should go to jail. If the Chief
Minister has guts, let him seek a CBI probe into it," he said.
Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy, a mining magnate of
Bellary district who is facing allegations of illegal mining,
said the government has acted on Lokayukta report and slapped
closure notices on 58 mines, but they continued operations
as per court orders.