Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, on Tuesday declared that special courts would be set up to try illegal mining cases if the Congress came to power in the next Assembly elections.

Addressing a gathering at Thokkottu near here during the party’s four-day padayatra, “Congress nadige – samarasyada kadege” (Congress’s walk for harmony) from Ulal to Malpe in Udupi, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde’s report on illegal mining (submitted in July, 2011) had mentioned huge monetary losses and he apparently meant that the people accused of draining the State’s exchequer would be tried in special courts. Those found guilty would be sent to jail. The recommendations made in the report would be implemented, he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah alleged that the State’s debt had increased from Rs. 58,000 crore to Rs. 1.13 lakh crore during the last five year’s rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He blamed Janata Dal (Secular) for bringing the BJP to power in the State.

Alleging that the BJP-led government was the “most insensitive”, he said that after withdrawing support to the Dharam Singh-led Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government, president of the Janata Dal (Secular) H.D. Deve Gowda joined hands with the BJP to make his son H.D. Kumaraswamy the Chief Minister. The BJP would not have come to power but for Mr. Gowda’s “putra vyamoha” (love for his son) to make his son Chief Minister, he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the JD(S) had earlier withdrawn support to the Congress-led coalition government without any basis.

‘Fear’

The Leader of the Opposition alleged that the people were living in fear under the BJP rule as it had damaged the communal harmony in the State.

Criticising RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakara Bhat, he alleged that his speeches were provocative. It was strange that a Superintendent of Police and a Deputy Commissioner sat next to Mr. Bhat at an official function (when a case had been registered against him).

President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) G. Parameshwar inaugurated the padayatra.

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