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‘Washing, transporting coal cost KPCL Rs. 680 crore a year'

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B.S. Yeddyurappa
B.S. Yeddyurappa

Special Correspondent

Revanna seeks CBI probe into coal purchase

Yeddyurappa denies paying more

for coal

Bangalore:Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday fired a salvo at Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Revanna in the Legislative Assembly charging him with wasting Rs. 500 crore during his tenure as Energy Minister on washing coal for the Karnataka Power Corporation and Rs.180 crore on transporting it for an extra distance by ship.

Irked by constant heckling by Mr. Revanna, who reiterated his demand for an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the coal purchase, Mr. Yeddyurappa said that annually Rs. 500 crore went down the drain for washing coal since 2002. Instead of reducing the distance by 350 km, why was the coal shipped from Paradip to Chennai and from there to Raichur, it should have been directly brought by rail, he added.

Mr. Yeddyurappasaid that he had saved the KPCL from losing Rs. 680 crore after he became Chief Minister. Directly attacking Mr. Revanna and his brother, the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy for the losses incurred by the KPCL, he hinted that there were several skeletons in the cupboards of the departments of Public Works and Energy, which Mr. Revanna held in the earlier governments and they would also be made public.

He told Mr. Revanna that the disclosure against him was only the beginning and asked him to digest it. What triggered the exposure of Mr. Revanna in the House was his insistence in the morning that he wanted a clarification from Mr. Yeddyurappa on his allegation that it was Mr. Kumaraswamy, who approved coal transportation in favour of South India Corporation owned by the then JD(S) MP M.A.M. Ramaswamy.

Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, who adjourned the House and held a meeting in his chamber with Mr. Yeddyurappa and Mr. Revanna, allowed him to raise his clarification. But, when Mr. Revanna reiterated the demand for an inquiry into the coal purchase by the Central Bureau of Investigation instead of the Commission of Inquiry headed by Mohan Kumar, a former judge of the Karnataka High Court, the Chief Minister charged him with floundering Rs. 680 crore.

Denying the charge that his Government had paid more money for coal, the Chief Minister asked whether there was any rationale in the allegation that he had defrauded Rs. 400 crore, when the payment made for the coal to Batia International Company was only Rs. 699 crore. “The tongue, which does not have bones, could be used to make any charges against anybody,” he added.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who was silent, asked the Chief Minister why then he was hesitating to entrust the whole episode including the wastage of Rs. 680 crore to the CBI. H.C. Balakrishna (JD-S) demanded that the Government send Mr. Revanna to jail by entrusting all the irregularities to the CBI.

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