Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara on Saturday said his party would not protect or support anyone involved in illegal mining if charges against them are proved.
He told reporters here that the Congress would examine the allegations made against Minister of State for Information Santosh Lad by S.R. Hiremath of Samaj Parivartan Samudaya.
“These allegations are politically motivated. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in power for two years after the Lokayukta submitted his report on illegal mining. Who stopped them from initiating action then?” he said.
On whether the party would ask Mr. Lad to step down or not, Mr. Parameshwara said: “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has made it clear that there is no question of dropping Mr. Lad [from the Cabinet].”
To questions on unruly scenes at a press conference addressed by him in Mandya on Friday, he said: “It was a small altercation between some party workers that did not last for more than two minutes. Difference of opinion is common in any political party. I have advised the party workers not to behave in such a manner again and I hope it will not repeat.”
Mr. Parameshwara said he would not contest the Lok Sabha elections. “It has been wrongly reported in the media that I will contest the elections. I have been given a responsibility as the party chief in Karnataka and I will continue working for the party,” he said.
He reiterated that the proposed performance appraisal of Ministers would be carried out according to schedule — once every quarter starting October. He said the decision to evaluate the Ministers’ performance follows a direction from the AICC.
Performance appraisal of Ministers will be carried out according to schedule: Parameshwara