Governor is convinced of our stand and hasassured us of action, says Hiremath

The Dharwad-based NGO, Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (SPS), on Tuesday submitted memorandums to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara seeking the resignation of Infrastructure and Information Minister Santosh Lad.

The SPS, which is fighting illegal mining in the State and demanding probity in public life, is consistently building pressure on Mr. Siddaramaiah to drop Mr. Lad in view of the alleged involvement of the Minister’s partnership firm, V.S. Lad and Sons, in illegal mining.

After submitting memorandums with supporting documents, samudaya president S.R. Hiremath told presspersons here that the memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister as he had sought proof of the company’s involvement in illegal mining.

He said that two First Information Reports (FIR) filed by forest officials of Sandur, a report of the Lokayukta, the report of the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee and the final judgment of the Supreme Court have been enclosed with the memorandum to support the charge of illegalities committed by the mining lessee.

“We have provided proof running into 126 pages in support of the allegations,” Mr. Hiremath said.

“It is significant that the High Court of Karnataka rejected an appeal from V.S. Lad and Sons seeking the quashing of the FIR in its first judgment (November 15, 2010),” he said.

Commitment

Considering the commitment shown by Mr. Siddaramaiah in fighting illegal mining, the samudaya thought that the Chief Minister, who took on the Bharatiya Janata Party government on the issue, would drop Mr. Lad.

“The Governor was also convinced of our argument and has assured us of impressing upon Mr. Siddaramaiah to drop Mr. Lad from the Cabinet,” Mr. Hiremath added.

Meanwhile, Raghavendra Kushtagi, president, Jana Sanghram Parishat, said, “Our attempts to reach the documents to Mr. Lad failed, as his office staff refused to accept them.”

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