Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has vehemently rejected the demand for dropping Infrastructure Development and Information Minister Santosh Lad from the cabinet over his alleged involvement in the mining scam.
Siddaramaiah told reporters here on Saturday that he had discussed the issue with Lad, who has told him that Dharwad-based activist S R Hiremath was wrongly mentioning his name in the mining scam. His company and the one that is involved in the scam are totally different.
“I have personally discussed with Lad. He has denied the allegations. Why should I drop him? He is innocent,’’ Siddaramaiah said.
When asked about the BJP leaders calling on the governor, asking him to advice the chief minister to drop Lad from the ministry, Siddaramaiah said it was the BJP government and its leaders who indulged in dirty things with regard to mining.
Asked why he was batting for Lad, Siddaramaiah said, “I don’t bat for anybody, I bat for innocents.”
On the controversy over the Congress high command’s move to evaluate the performance of ministers and the government, Siddaramaiah said it was nothing new as it had been done in the past, although it was early to review the performance.
“Let them do their work, let me do my work,” Siddaramaiah quipped.