New Delhi: Mining barons and influential ministers in the BJP government in Karnataka, G Janardhan Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy, Friday, rejected Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde’s report on illegal mining and demanded an apology from him.
G Karunakara Reddy, while taking on Hegde said, “The Lokayukta is acting as a Supreme Court judge. He has made false allegations against us. I deeply condemn his report on illegal mining.”
“I request him to tender an apology to the people of Karnataka and to the people of this country for cheating them on false accounts,” Karunakara Reddy said while addressing a press conference in Bangalore.
The development comes two days after Justice Hegde dropped a political bomb by indicting Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Congress MP Anil Lad, former chief minister and JDS leader Kumaraswamy and influential Bellary brothers G Janardhan Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy in his explosive report on illegal mining. The names of Housing Minister V Somanna and Health Minister B Sriramulu also figured in Justice Hegde’s final report.
Claiming that the illegal mining business has caused a loss of Rs 16,085 crores to the state’s exchequer between 2006 and 2010, Hegde alleged that Yeddyurappa received kickbacks for favouring mining barons.
Hegde’s 25,228-page long report was submitted to the state’s Chief Secretary SV Ranganath.
Hegde also refuted the Reddy brothers’ claim that they had nothing to do with illegal mining in Karnataka. The report slams Yeddyurappa for retaining the tainted Bellary brothers in his Cabinet.
The enquiry has found large scale involvement of officials, powerful people both in the Administration as well as in the ground level.
The Karnataka Lokayukta made recommendations to prosecute everybody involved in the mining scam under Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), Forest Act, Mines Minerals Regulation and Development Act and other laws.