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Congress calls ban a drama

Special Correspondent
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It is too little too late after 3.5 million tonnes of ore has been exported: Singhvi

LAWYERS AND LAW-MAKERS: Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily (right) having a word with Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi at the inauguration of a conference on ‘Law as an instrument of economic and social change' in Bangalore on Saturday. — PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY
LAWYERS AND LAW-MAKERS: Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily (right) having a word with Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi at the inauguration of a conference on ‘Law as an instrument of economic and social change' in Bangalore on Saturday. — PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

Describing Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's proposal to ban iron ore exports as amounting to “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted”, Congress spokesperson and MP Abhishekh Singhvi dismissed it as “natakbazi”.

Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, he demanded to know why categorical penal action was not initiated against blatant violations despite clear proof.

He said that iron ore seized by the Lokayukta had been “allowed to disappear right under the Chief Minister's nose” and talk of export ban was “too little, too late”.

Investigations initiated by the State Government had clearly said that 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore had gone out of Karnataka, estimated at $ 35 crore between November 2009 and February 2010, he said.

The State Government could have filed a “simple three-line FIR and transferred the case to the CBI”, he said. The problem, he said, was one of the “accused being the boss of the prosecution”.

While the Centre could book cases under FERA and other regulations, they could not be substitute for criminal prosecution, he added.

Sarcastically describing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Karnataka as “truly a party with a difference”, he said that the people of the State deserved better than the “rule of mafia”.

He said mining irregularities in Karnataka were “gigantic white-collar crime.”

‘People's anger'

The ongoing Congress padayatra against mining irregularities, he said, was “manifestation of people's anger and those who ignore it will do it at their own peril.”

While the mining scandal in Karnataka was exposing the BJP, the CBI investigations into involvement of Minister Amit Shah in communal violence was exposing the party in Gujarat, said Mr. Singhvi.

He demanded to know why a simple bail petition or a quashing petition had not been moved if the evidence provided by the CBI against Mr. Shah was really “rubbish” as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi claimed.

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