The Congress on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the mining scam as exposed by the Lokayukta report, charging the BJP government with trying to shield the guilty.

Seeking to move an adjournment motion in the Legislative Assembly, Leader of Opposition, Siddaramaiah (Congress), said the (then) Lokayukta, Justice (Retd) N Santosh Hegde, submitted his interim report on illegal mining in December 2008 but the Government “slept over the matter for three years”.

The Lokayukta, who submitted the final report in July this year, has said that the Government has not implemented the interim report and that illegal mining had actually gone up after he filed the first report nearly three years ago.

“People say the Government is not acting on the report as it wants to shield some people. That’s prima-facie established,” Mr. Siddaramaiah alleged.

The Lokayukta report had put the loss to the State exchequer because of illegal mining (between 2006 and 2010) at Rs 16,850 crore, he pointed out.

“Government is totally involved (in mining scam),” he alleged, urging the Speaker K G Bopaiah to set aside Thursday’s agenda of the House and take up the adjournment motion.

“A Chief Minister (B S Yeddyurappa) had to resign, Janardhana Reddy (former Minister) went to jail on the issue, and some Ministers had to be dropped.

“Those who are involved should be sent to jail, they should be punished,” he said, demanding a CBI probe.

Ruling BJP members objected to some of Mr. Siddaramaiah’s statements and were on their feet in protest, leading to angry exchange of words with opposition members for some time.

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the issue cannot be taken up as adjournment motion but added that the Government is ready to discuss it under a different rule.

The Speaker, in his ruling, declined permission for the adjournment motion but allowed discussion, to be taken up after question hour.