Let Cong give proof against Reddy brothers, says BSY

Last Updated: Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 20:34

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa on Saturday ruled out sacking of Reddy brothers from his
cabinet over the illegal mining controversy, saying there was
no proof against them.

Yeddyurappa said he would act against the Reddy brothers
if there was proof of illegal mining by them in the state.
"Let the Congress come out with any proof of the Reddy
brothers being involved in illegal mining in the state. I will
immediately act against them. There is no proof of them having
indulged in illegal mining in the state," he told reporters
here.

He was replying to questions on how the Karnataka Lok
Ayukta Santosh Hegde would be able to carry out a free and
fair probe against illegal mining when the Reddy brothers, who
had interests in mining business were part of the Karnataka
cabinet.

Yeddyurappa said he had given powers to the Lok Ayukta to
rope in any agency, be it from the state or the Centre, in his
investigation into the illegal mining activities in the state.

"I have admitted on the floor of the House that the state
was witnessing illegal mining activities for the last 15
years. If the Lok Ayukta probe is completed, it is the
Congress that will face the trouble, as 90 per cent of illegal
miners in the state belonged to the party," he said.
Regarding the `padayatra` to Bellary from Bangalore
announced by the Congress against Reddy brothers, the Chief
Minister said the opposition party should give up such
activities and instead come to Delhi.

"If the Congress leaders from Karnataka state come to
Delhi, we can jointly take out a padayatra to the Prime
Minister`s Office and seek a ban on export of raw minerals
including iron ore across the country," he said.

"Till the time a decision on the ban is pending, we can
at least seek permission to allow Karnataka to ban export of
iron ore from the state," he added.

Yeddyurappa said he had raised the issue at the National
Development Council meeting that he attended here today.

"If at all the Congress leaders have any concern for
conserving state`s valuable mineral wealth and put an end to
illegal mining and illegal export of iron ore, I urge them to
drop the proposed padayatra to Bellary and rush to Delhi," he
said.

The Karnataka Chief Minister said the Congress leaders
were insisting on a CBI probe as part of their delaying
tactics.

"Their (Congress) intention is to delay the probe by
entrusting the case to CBI, which has become their stooge.
Their true intention is to save their people involved in
illegal mining activities, since 90 per cent of the miners
involved in illegal mining belong to their party," the CM
added.
Yeddyurappa said the Lok Ayukta was investigating the
illegal mining and export cases and he was confident that the
probe would be completed quickly.

"If the inquiry process is over and the truth comes out,
the Congress friends will be in trouble. Therefore, they are
insisting on CBI probe instead of the inquiry by the Lok
Ayukta. Precisely, it is a delaying tactics of the Congress,"
he said.

The Chief Minister said the Congress was defeated in all
elections in Karnataka in the last two years and the party`s
leadership was yet to recover from the "shock electoral
defeats".

"Their high command was also seriously upset with the
development. As a face saver, Karnataka Congress leaders are
resorting to the dharna, Bellary padayatra and other tactics,"
he said.

Yeddyurappa also raised the issue of the Hooda committee
report regarding conservation of country`s natural resources,
"which are pending implementation for a long time."

"I do not understand why the Central government is not
implementing the Hooda Committee recommendations. I call upon
my Congress friends to visit Delhi and question their party
leaders in this regard," he said.
Regarding the NDC meeting, Yeddyurappa said he had
suggested to the Centre to consider extending financial
assistance to set up residential schools for SCs and STs and
also to raise scholarships for post-matric students and
increase the family income limit to get scholarships in higher
education.

He also strongly urged the Centre to defer the proposed
decision to change SEZ schemes through direct tax code, saying
it would seriously affect investments flow into Karnataka.

He said there was a need for a national consensus on
subsidies, especially support to electricity sector and that
he had requested the Centre to take a lead in building such
consensus.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 20:34

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