Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Tourism Minister and mine owner G. Janardhan Reddy on Friday took exception to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj deciding to hear the complaint filed against him by a Congress MLC.

Mr. Reddy told presspersons in Bangalore that Mr. Bhardwaj “does not have the authority to summon a Minister”. He alleged that the Governor had “gone beyond the bounds of the law” by summoning him for an explanation on the complaint.

Congress MLC K.C. Kondaiah had filed a complaint before the Governor on January 13 accusing the three Bellary Ministers and mine owners — G. Karunakara Reddy, Mr. Janardhan and B. Sriramulu — of amassing wealth from massive mining by misusing their position as Ministers. He sought disqualification of their legislature membership.

Hearing on June 3

Subsequently, the Governor sought an explanation from the three Ministers. In response to the notice, the Ministers had raised certain legal issues. The Governor had sought the personal appearance of either the Ministers or their counsels in response to the issues raised in their reply. The Ministers' lawyers appeared before the Governor a few days ago and the Governor has scheduled a hearing on June 3.

Mr. Reddy refuted the complaint that he was conducting “massive mining operations”. “I do not have massive mining operations in Karnataka,” he asserted. Referring to the notice issued by the Governor, he said, “The Governor is not a court of law to summon me with reference to a complaint.”

Referring to the complaint of misusing office, he said, “Neither I nor my company has benefited in any manner from the Karnataka Government.” He said his companies have not been granted any contract by the State Government.