New Delhi: Ruling out a CBI probe into the
illegal mining issue in Karnataka, Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa on Saturday rejected the demand for removal of the Reddy
brothers from his cabinet.
"There is no proof of the charges against any of the
ministers and action would be taken if substantial proof is
"Tomorrow if I get any substantial proof, I am ready to
take action. I am not bothered about anybody," he told
reporters after his meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and his party leaders L K
Advani and Nitin Gadkari.
He was asked if he would follow the example of senior
BJP leader L K Advani, who had quit Parliament in the early
90s in the wake of allegations against him in the hawala
scandal, and ask his ministers to step down.
To a question why his government was fighting shy of
instituting a CBI inquiry into the illegal mining issue,
Yeddyurappa said the institution of Lokayukta has been given
"all the powers" and it can take the help of Central
government and any state government and even Central agencies.
"He is investigating the mining issue. As early as
possible, we are going to refer all cases starting from 2002.
Soon truth will come out and whoever is culprit, we will
punish them," Yeddyurappa said.
He said the Karnataka Lokayukta is already probing the
case and the government is extending full cooperation to him.
Yeddyurappa 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.
He alleged that the relatives of Congress and JD(S)
leaders were involved in illegal mining and that they wanted
to delay the Lokayukta probe.
The Chief Minister said the Reddy brothers` mining work
was going on in Andhra Pradesh and not in Karnataka.
"The Supreme Court and High Court gave their decisions in
favour of Reddy brothers," he said.
When asked why he was not heeding to the opposition
demand for a CBI probe, Yeddyurappa said, "For the last so
many years, previous governments (in Karnataka) have never
accepted a CBI investigation. When the investigation has been
given to the Lokayukta, he will submit a report."
Yeddyurappa said he discussed the issue of illegal
mining, impact of excessive mining and the need for imposing a
ban on export of iron ore from the country with the Prime
Minister and Home Minister.
"The Prime Minister appreciated the steps taken by the
Karnataka government regarding mining activities," Yeddyurappa
He has requested the Prime Minister to convene a meeting
of Chief Ministers of mineral rich states to discuss the
impact of excessive mining and related issues.
"The Prime Minister has assured that he will consider
our memorandum and take needful action," Yeddyurappa said.
The Chief Minister also called on senior BJP leader L K
Advani to discuss the political situation in Karnataka arising
out of opposition allegations of corruption against his
cabinet colleagues. Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj`s recent
statements against the Reddy brothers also figured in the
On his meeting with Chidambaram, he said he discussed
the issues of illegal mining, resignation of Lokayukta Santosh
Hegde and its subsequent withdrawal, law and order situation
and the current Belgaum row.
The Chief Minister said the only way to stop illegal
mining would be to stop iron ore exports and allow only
value-added industry. There was no other way, he said, adding
he has conveyed this to the Central government.
To a question on whether the Reddy brothers were giving a
bad name to the party in the state, Yeddyurappa said,
"Unnecessarily without any base they are naming Bellary
friends and Bellary ministers. So far they have not
interfered in any matter and they don`t have any charges
On charges levelled by Congress and JD(S), he said, "If
they have any evidence, let them come out with them and
approach the courts. Why are they creating unnecessary