In a strong indictment of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, State Lokayukta Justice Santosh N. Hegde on Thursday said he has given “substantive” and “voluminous” evidence against him in the illegal mining scam which has cost the state exchequer Rs 1800 crore in a period of 14 months.
Terming the illegal mining scam as a “huge racket”, Mr. Hegde said, “In the time period of 14 months, it is more than Rs 1800 crore. The time period is between March 2009 to May 2010. It is loss to the state exchequer.”
Report has given substantive evidence whether it’s the Chief Minister, Ministers and miners. “It’s a voluminous evidence”, he said.
“As a matter of fact, the Chief Minister is responsible for what’s happening in (mineral rich district of) Bellary because the Minister in Charge (of the district G. Janardhana Reddy) is owner of a mining company (Obulapuram Mining) and a mafia-like situation is created with every official being involved. They have created a new system altogether by which they could literally bleed other mining companies”, Mr. Hegde told PTI.
Mr. Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, said the leak of the report would not have any impact as it would not question the validity of the report, which he was expected to submit to the Government by Monday.
Congress vs. BJP
Attacking the BJP over the illegal mining issue, Congress on Monday demanded the resignation of Mr. Yeddyurappa.
“Yeddyurappa must immediately resign from his post,” Congress Spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said while questioning the “silence” of the BJP leadership over the “illegal mining” in Karnataka and alleged that was happening with their consent.
The BJP, for its part, said it was too early to react to the report. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the party will wait for the report on illegal mining in the state to be made public before coming out with any reaction and asked the Congress to first take action against those named in the Shunglu Committee and Delhi Lokayukta report.
"The Shunglu Committee had indicted the Sheila Dikshit Government in the Commonwealth Games and the Delhi Lokayukta had recommended to the President that action should be taken against her minister Rajkumar Chauhan in the Tivoli Garden case. Nothing has been done in these two cases. Congress should first respond to this," he said