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


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

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