B. Sriramulu, MLA and president of BSR Congress and a close associate of jailed mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, rubbished a news item appearing in a section of the media that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had served notice on him in connection with illegal mining.

“Neither I nor the firm registered in my wife’s name is involved in illegal mining. There is no need for me to fear the CBI. I have not received any notice from the CBI to appear before it,” he claimed.

Mr. Sriramulu was responding to questions by presspersons at Kuntanal village in Bellary taluk on Saturday. On the arrest of his nephew T.H. Suresh Babu and supporter B. Nagendra (both MLAs) by the CBI for alleged involvement in illegal mining, Mr. Sriramulu said the “law would take its own course,” but refused to elaborate.

With regard to his future political plans and development of his party, Mr. Sriramulu ruled out any merger or alliance with BJP or other political parties. Stating that the BJP had not made any overtures of alliance either, Mr. Sriramulu said that his party would contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections independently, by fielding candidates in all 28 seats.

“There is no question of joining the BJP or other parties. I am inclined to support the third front,” the MLA said. He did not wish to react to the BJP’s announcing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate, stating that it was an “in-house affair.”

Mr. Sriramulu said that if Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wanted to curb illegal mining, he should immediately drop Minister Santosh Lad from his Cabinet. Mr. Lad was accused of indulging in illegal mining.

Referring to Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge’s reported statement that the State had not released its share of funds for rail projects, Mr. Sriramulu said he was apprehensive that the government had become bankrupt. “Contrary to the aspirations of the people, there appears to be no coordination in the Siddaramaiah government, resulting in development projects coming to a standstill and improper implementation of various welfare schemes,” he said.

More In: Karnataka | National