Lokayukta indicts Karnataka CM in illegal mining
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Bangalore, July 27: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's survival hung in suspense tonight after the state Lokayukta strongly indicted him over payment of about Rs 30 crore kickbacks by a mining firm to his family trust and recommended his prosecution under anti-corruption law.
In a report on the rampant illegal mining in the state, the Lokayukta also indicted the mining barons and ministers Reddy brothers, their associate H Sriramulu, a minister, former Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy and several officials and recommended their prosecution under Prevention of Corruption Act(PCA) and other laws.
The Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, concluded that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 16,085 crore during 2006-10 due to "illegalities and irregularities" in mining in the state.
In damning evidence against the Chief Minister, Hegde said during the course of investigations it was found that certain transactions have taken place between a company-- the South West Mining Company, owned by Jindals dealing in iron ore-- which had donated Rs 10 crore to a trust managed by family members of Yeddyurappa.
Shortly after submission of the report, a worried BJP leadership summoned Yeddyruppa, its first chief minister in South since May 2008, to Delhi as a section of the party is said to be of the view that he should be removed so that its anti-corruption campaign is not removed.
After a meeting of the BJP leaders at L K Advani's house, spokesman Ravishankar Prasad put up a brave face saying the voluminous report has to be first studied before the action promised by party president Nitin Gadkari could be taken.
The 25,228 page-report including annexures said the Jindal firm also purchased one acre of land (from the chief minister's family members) in Rachenahally on Bangalore's outskirts for Rs 20 crore, whereas the guidance value fixed by the government was Rs 1.40 crore. Hegde's main report runs into 943 pages.
Hegde told a press conference that he has named Chief Minister Yeddyruppa, former Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy, Reddy brothers (who are ministers and mining magnates), their camp follower and another minister H Sriramulu, Congress MP Anil Lad's wife and over 600 officials in the mining racket.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 28 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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