Will quit if not able to stop illegal mining: Yeddyurappa
Bangalore: Claiming that over three crore
iron ore tons worth over Rs 12,000 crore was illegally shifted
out of the country since 2003, Karnataka Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa said he will quit if he failed to put an end
to plundering of the natural resources in the state.
He was replying to a lengthy discussion in the
Legislative Council on the issue of resignation (and
subsequent withdrawal) of Karnataka Lokayukta Santhosh Hegde
and illegal mining.
"In 2009-10 alone, about 71 lakh tons of iron ore were
illegally shipped out of Karnataka," he said.
Claiming that leaders of different political parties were
directly or indirectly involved in illegal mining, he said
only Centre could curb the menace through special legislation
and appealed Opposition leaders to join a delegation to meet
the prime minister on the issue.
Denying charges that he was under pressure from mining
barons who were also members of his cabinet, Yeddyurappa
retorted that former chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and N
Dharam Singh have taken decisions "detrimental to the
interests" of the people (in issuing mining leases).
Listing various measures he had taken against illegal
mining, Yeddyurappa said his government had not granted any
fresh licence and made it a policy to allow mining only to
those units which were in the nature of value addition.
Strongly refuting charges of the Opposition that he was
helpless in taking strong measures to stop illegal mining, he
assured the House that he would rather chose to quit the
office if he feels weak to take action against the menace and
go before the people seeking fresh mandate.
"I never came under any pressure from any organisation or
any individuals in taking action against the illegal mining,"
an emotionally choked Yeddyurappa said.
Opposition Congress and JDS, demanding a CBI inquiry into
illegal mining, staged a dharna in the well of House while
Chairman D H Shankaramurthy adjourned the House for tomorrow.
Opposition leader Motamma told reporters later that
members would continue their protest till their demand for a
CBI inquiry was met.
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