Cong finalises road map for Bellary Chalo Padayatra



Bangalore: Congress in Karnataka today finalised the roadmap of its 'Bellary Chalo Padayatra' to highlight the illegal mining issue in the state and step up its campaign against the BJP government.

The yatra would cover five districts and 320 km, Karnataka PCC president R V Deshpande told reporters here after a meeting attended by Congress' present and former legislators, district presidents and party office bearers.

Starting from here, the yatra would pass through the districts of Bangalore Urban and Rural, Tumkur, Chitradurga and Bellary covering the distance in 15 days -- 20 km each day. At the culmination in Bellary, the party would organise a huge rally.

The party would organise roadside meetings and public rallies along the way, he said, adding that the exact date of commencement of the yatra would be finalised shortly.

Deshpande said the illegal iron ore extraction and exports scam would top Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore if one were to take into account the quantity supplied to domestic firms also.

Bellary is the home district of Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy and his brother and Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy -- who have been targetted by the Congress and JDS -- and their strong-hold.

The Reddy brothers are facing allegations of illegal mining and the Congress has slammed the BJP government for "avoiding" a CBI probe into the issue.

Reacting to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's "clean chit" to Reddy brothers, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said in Delhi though the announcement was shocking, it did not spring any surprise.

"You are avoiding the CBI inquiry and what you do, you first start shooting the messenger, ignore the message and then give a clean chit (to Reddy brothers)," he said.

PTI