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Karna Cong leaders meet PM, demand CBI probe into mining issue

Last Updated: Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 17:42

New Delhi: Congress leaders from Karnataka
on Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President
Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P Chidambaram to press for a
CBI probe into alleged illegal mining in the BJP-ruled state.

The state leaders also stuck to their demand that Chief
Minister B S Yeddyurappa should tender his resignation.
The delegation, which also met Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee, included AICC General Secretary incharge of
Karnataka Ghulam Nabi Azad, PCC chief R V Deshpande, CLP
leader Siddharamaiah and Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, K
H Muniyappa and another AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad.

"It`s a matter of national interest. People are looking
to what the Union government is doing into the matter. It`s a
big issue and CBI inquiry should take place to unearth the
illegal mining network in Karnataka," Deshpande told reporters
after the meeting with Gandhi.

Deshpande said they also met the Prime Minister, Home
Minister and Finance Minister over the issue.

He said the delegation briefed Gandhi over the illegal
mining situation in the state and the Congress President said
she was aware of it and will look into the issue.

"Law and order has collapsed in the state. There is no
rule of law. Our party was agitating against the on-going
illegal mining in the state for last two and half years and it
it is for the first time that the Chief Minister had to accept
the existence of illegal mining on the floor of the Assembly,"
Deshpande said.
CLP leader Siddharamaiah said the illegal mining and
the export of illegal iron ore from Karnataka "is one of the
biggest scams".

To a question on whether the Congress is insisting on the
resignation of Reddy brothers, he said, "Not only Reddy
brothers. Chief Minister himself is responsible. We are
demanding his resignation. During his tenure iron ore worth Rs
5000 crore were exported illegally."

The party leaders also requested the Prime Minister to
ensure that urgent steps are taken to curb illegal mining in
the state.

The meetings came a day after the Karnataka assembly was
adjourned sine die, cutting short the session by nearly a
fortnight with the Opposition continuing its indefinite dharna
demanding a CBI probe into alleged illegal mining.

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa today virtually ruled out the
removal of Reddy brothers from his ministry for the present,
saying such a step could be considered if charges are proved.

He said the opposition Congress-JD(S) campaign against
the Reddy brothers -- Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy and
Revenue Minister G Karunakaran Reddy -- was born out of
political enmity.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 17:42
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