Karunakara Reddy trains gun on Santosh Hegde

Karnataka Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for indicting him in his report on illegal mining.

Bangalore: Karnataka Revenue Minister G
Karunakara Reddy on Friday slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for
indicting him in his report on illegal mining, claiming that
allegations against him was untrue and sought a public apology
from him.

Reddy said he had "retired" as Director from Obalapuram
Mining Company (OMC), which had been named in the Lokayukta
report, in 2004 itself and there are records to prove it in
the Registrar of Companies.

He said "false allegations" have been made against him in
the eighth chapter of the report and "making them without
verifying the facts" has hurt him. "I don`t have any relation
with the company", he said, adding, "wrong message" has gone
to the State vis-a-vis the report naming him.

Reddy said if any politician or common man had made
allegations, it would have been understandable on the premise
that they had no information. He said a responsible
institution such as Lokayukta should have carefully examined
the documents before filing the report.

He also said he should have at least been given an
opportunity (to explain) if there were documents against him,
adding, without doing that, the Lokayukta had "misled" the
State and the nation which has hurt him. "I don`t know with
what ill-intention this report had been filed".

"I don`t want him to apologise to me. But he should tender
public apology to the people of the State and the nation",
Reddy said.

Reacting to Reddy`s comments, Hegde said if he receives
letter from the Minister, he would give him reply with
evidence. "He (Reddy) was a full-time Director. We know when
he resigned also. There was this illegality...so....he is not
out of illegalities."

"Let him (Reddy) send a notice, I will answer", the
Lokayukta said.

Reddy is not the only Minister who questioned the report.

Large and Medium Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani
said last night, "Mining scam...for no reason there is an
allegation (against the Chief Minister). This is a conspiracy.
This is far from truth (allegations against Yeddyurappa)".

"There is a vast difference between the interim report
(submitted by the Lokayukta in December 2008) and final
report. There is no allegation (against the Chief Minister)",
Nirani said.

Excise Minister MP Renukacharya termed the report
baseless and questioned as to why it has not made mention of
illegal mining that allegedly took place during the tenure of
Congress Chief Ministers SM Krishna and N Dharam Singh.

Karunakara Reddy`s brother, G Janardhana Reddy, who has
also been named in the report, had said there was no need
for him to resign as once the Chief Minister quits, the entire
Cabinet "goes away".


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