Sadananda Gowda claims governor has decided to speak to the CM on the issue
Even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has strongly stood by Minister for Infrastructure Santosh Lad, the pressure is building up to sack him from the Ministry, particularly from the Bharatiya Janata Party which petitioned Governor H.R. Bhardwaj in this regard on Friday. Mr. Lad is in the eye of a storm following allegations that a company of which he is the partner was involved in illegal mining.
A delegation of top BJP leaders met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan, submitted documents related to his alleged involvement in illegal mining and appealed to him to direct the Chief Minister to sack Mr. Lad.
Pointing out that the Supreme Court has permitted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute those involved in illegal mining even without the government’s permission, the BJP delegation urged the Governor to ask the CBI to investigate the matter.
After meeting the Governor, the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda told presspersons that the Governor had responded positively to their demand.
“The Governor has assured us that he will forward the documents submitted by us to the Chief Minister and also talk to him personally about the issue,” Mr. Gowda said.
He described Mr. Lad’s claims that his company had nothing to do with illegal mining as “an effort to mislead the public”. He warned that the BJP would launch a struggle if the Chief Minister continued to protect Mr. Lad.
In the memorandum, the BJP took serious exception to Mr. Siddaramaiah defending Mr. Lad and termed it an attempt to shield those accused of swindling the State’s precious natural resources. The party said during its regime, it had ensured the resignations of all the Ministers who had been indicted by the Karnataka Lokayukta in illegal mining.
The delegation comprised national general secretary Ananth Kumar, State president Pralhad Joshi and former Chief Ministers Jagadish Shettar and Mr. Gowda, the former State president K.S. Eshwarappa and former Ministers Suresh Kumar and Govind Karjol.