VISAKHAPATNAM: Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju said here on Wednesday that he was ready to answer questions from any one on bauxite mining and he has his own opinion on the issue.

“As a Minister I have democratic and Constitutional obligations before commenting on an issue. My party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Kishore Chandra Deo have already made statements against bauxite mining. Is it not the Congress voice? Or is Balaraju is your target?” he asked at a press conference while reacting to the criticism heaped on him by CPI State secretary K. Narayana during his visit to Visakha Agency on Tuesday and Praja Rajyam president K. Chiranjeevi a few days ago and CPI (M) MP P. Madhu some time ago, that he was not bothered about Girijans and was not coming out against bauxite mining in Visakha Agency area.

He was more critical of Mr. Narayana saying that he was senile. “Who is he to make me an accused in all the cases of killings (by the Maoists) in the Agency? He lost his senses because he had no position,” Mr. Balaraju said. Why did not the Left parties come out of the alliance when the previous government took the decision to take up bauxite mining, he asked.