Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu has lashed out at Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and the latter’s counterpart in Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, in the light of the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court to stop illegal activities in sixmines in Obulapuram and H. Siddapuram villages on Andhra Pradesh–Karnataka border. While accusing Mr. Rosaiah of trying to cling to power until the Supreme Court asked him to step down despite the indictment of the State government by the CEC, Mr. Naidu also targeted Mr. Yeddyurappa for bringing disrepute to the Chief Minister’s post by surrendering to the “mining mafia” for political survival. The Karnataka Chief Minister showed himself in poor light when the Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC) chairman and Karnataka Tourism Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy brought fifty BJP MLAs to Hyderabad as part of a revolt against the former, Mr. Naidu told a press conference on Saturday.

Reacting to Mr. Rosaiah’s statement that he would await Supreme Court orders in the matter, Mr. Naidu said, “You are unfit to be Chief Minister if you want to wait till Supreme Court asks you to step down”. It showed Mr. Rosaiah’s desire to hold on to the post till the end. “He must resign”.

Mr. Naidu repeated his charge against Mr. Rosaiah that he was unfit for the post if the latter failed to seize the properties of OMC “at this moment”. The iron ore quarried by the company should be confiscated at the mines and various ports, including Krishnapatnam, Kandla and Mangalore, and its licences suspended immediately. Not even a single tonne of ore should be shifted from the places they were lying at, he demanded.

The TDP president asked the Centre and the State government why they compromised with mining mafias at the cost of public money. He wanted Mr. Yeddyurappa to sack Mr. Janardhan Reddy and also prosecute the latter for violating the oath that he took under the Constitution.

The Praja Rajyam described the report into ‘illegal mining’ by the CEC as clear proof of the ‘improper’ manner in which the late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s government had gone ahead to facilitate things for Mr. Janardhan Reddy.