Illegal mining issue: Congress hits back at BJP

The Congress today accused the BJP of behaving like "Dhrithrashtra and Gandhari" on the Karnataka illegal mining issue.

New Delhi: The Congress today accused the
BJP of behaving like "Dhrithrashtra and Gandhari" on the
Karnataka illegal mining issue, borrowing the barbs the
Opposition party had used to target the government on the
issue of alleged corruption in CWG projects.

The names of the characters in epic Mahabharata were used
for senior Congress leaders and officials by BJP member Kirti
Azad yesterday while initiating a debate in Lok Sabha on the
preparations for October Commonwealth Games.

"Why BJP, which makes so much noise about alleged
corruption in Commonwealth Games is behaving like
Dhrithrashtra and Gandhari, when it comes to illegal mining in
Karnataka," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said here.

"They made all the song and dance about Commonwealth but
why are they silent on the involvement of Reddy brothers in
illegal mining there," he said.

Asked why the central government is not coming out with
facts if it has proofs of Reddy brothers` involvement, Tewari
said the illegal mining in Karnataka has been the "trigger"
for bringing out reforms to the Mines and Minerals
(Development and Regulation) Act of 1957.

"That is precisely a reason why you have a new draft of
Mines and Minerals Act....that is precisely the trigger for
the legislation," he said.

Tewari claimed that the Reddy brothers have close links
with top BJP leadership which could be a reason why the party
is not seeking action against them. "It is for BJP`s central
leadership to come clear on the issue."

Asked about Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa`s
defence of Reddy brothers, Tewari said, "the fact is that
these guys are deeply involved in illegal mining. There is not
even an iota of credence to what Yeddyurappa is trotting out."

He claimed that a huge crowd attended the Congress rally
at Bellari yesterday, a culmination of the 16 day yatra of the
state Congress unit against illegal mining.

"It brought out the fact that people of Karnataka have
united against the loot of minerals in the state. The Congress
and the people will root out the BJP government from the state
if no action is taken against Reddy brothers," he said.


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