The Congress on Thursday demanded the resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in the wake of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde recommending an investigation into his role and that of four of his ministerial colleagues in illegal mining in the State.

The BJP leadership was patronising illegal mining mafia in Karnataka, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said.

“Yeddyurappa must immediately resign from his post. All these things are already in the public domain, but now the Lokayukta has indicted the Chief Minister and other Ministers in the State government.”

Mr. Ahmed questioned the “silence” of senior central BJP leaders on the issue. “It is now evident that illegal mining in Karnataka was continuing with the consent of top central BJP leaders. Without their consent, senior party leaders from the State like Dhananjay Kumar could not have gone to meet the Lokayukta to request him to delete Yeddyurappa's name from the report,” he said.

Serious charges: Soni

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni too demanded Mr. Yeddyurappa's resignation.

She said: “Everybody in the country now wants there should be more accountability and transparency in public life. If in such an atmosphere, such serious charges have been levelled against anybody in public life, he should obviously [consider] whether he can walk proudly even after all this.”

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