It was I who inducted Reddys: CM

He also dismissed as false that a firm owned by V Somanna’s sons, was involved in illegal mining in Tumkur district.

Quizzed by reporters over Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj’s controversial remarks about Arun Jaitley and the Reddys in an interview to a magazine, Yeddyurappa said it was he who took the decision to induct the Reddy brothers in his Cabinet after consulting the party central leaders.

However, he refused to identify the “central leaders”.

“It was my decision. I took it after consulting the central leaders. I am responsible for it,” he said at an interaction with the media, on completing three years in office.

Yeddyurappa ruled out dropping the Reddys from the ministry in the wake of allegation of illegal mining against them.

“I will not drop them (the Reddys). Allegations against them have not been proved,” he added. He also strongly defended Housing Minister V Somanna, whose sons Arun and  Naveen, are allegedly involved in illegal mining.

“I have verified all the documents. His (Somanna’s) sons are partners in a company. But the company has not conducted any mining for the last two years. Not a tonne of iron ore has been mined by the company. The allegations are false,” he stated.

Penalty

The mines and geology department has imposed a penalty of Rs 16.35 lakh on Mata Minerals, which allegedly carried out illegal mining on encroached areas.

The company is yet to respond to the notice. The Lokayukta is probing into the case. The licence to carry on mining for the next 20 years was issued in April 2009.

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