The Telugu Desam Party has charged Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy with misleading people by claiming that iron ore mines at Bayyaram in Khammam district were allotted to Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and said the fact, however, remained that no allotment was made to the plant so far.

At a news conference on Friday, the TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy released the communication between the government and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the holding company of the plant, in support of the party’s claim about no allotment of mines to RINL.

Mr. Reddy highlighted the chairman and managing director of the company, A.P. Choudhary, stating in one of the documents that no scientific exploration was taken up by any government agencies to assess the quantity and quality of iron ore available in the allotted mining areas.

The MLA asked the Chief Minister to spell out why the mining leases at Obulapuram and Kalyandurg in Anantapur district were not allotted to any party though prospecting licences for them were sought by RINL. They were apparently kept pending to sell the licences to private parties. There was no way but to allot these mines to RINL because the national mineral policy was clear that private parties should not be entertained in the exploitation of natural resources in reserve forest and tribal areas.

The Supreme Court also endorsed the view. Mr. Reddy accused the Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao of using the mines issue for their political gains.