The CPI(M) and the Telugu Desam Party are to launch a joint struggle against the “mining mafia and its growing influence in politics.”

The decision was taken at a breakfast meeting between CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu here on Wednesday.

In a brief interaction with journalists later, Mr. Karat said they discussed issues to be raised in the winter session of Parliament that begins on Thursday. The mining lobby’s increasing clout would be one of them, as it posed a grave threat to the future of democracy.

Mr. Naidu said the ‘mining mafia’ was now in a position to run a government.

Referring to the Obulapuram Mining Company’s alleged illegal mining and violation of laws, he said the company was excavating and exporting thousands of tonnes of iron ore to other countries, while other countries were preserving it for future generations.

Both the parties would also raise other problems affecting the people, especially the plight of sugarcane growers.