Opposition seeks all-party meeting on illegal mining

 
Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, CPM MP Brinda Karat, CPI general secretary A B Bardhan and Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh also demanded implementation of the report of the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court in toto.

The Central Empowered Committee had recommended banning of all mining activities undertaken by the six mining companies including those run by the Reddy brothers.

Addressing a press meet here, the leaders said they were in touch with Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Deve Gowda, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo Jayalalitha and even Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik and hinted they would form a common platform to fight illegal mining.

Serious threat

Observing that the Reddy brothers and their illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were a serious threat to democracy, the leaders said the mining scam was the biggest and a serious one compared to the Satyam scam or stamp paper scam as this not only looted the natural resources but also threatened democracy itself.

Asked about the recent decision taken by the Andhra Pradesh chief minister on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into illegal mining, they said while it was welcome, it was not enough.

Producing several records, Naidu said Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa who in February 2009, wrote to the Centre that the issue of illegal mining was taken up with the Andhra Pradesh government but the “required co-operation is not forthcoming”(from the Andhra Pradesh government).

Political compulsions

Naidu said after showing interest in taking on the mining lobby, the chief minister was now not showing interest obviously because of political compulsions. Noting that the Reddys were a threat to natural resources and democracy, the TDP leader said while democracy had its own checks and balances, the Reddys, through their money and muscle power, were hijacking democracy.

The entire country had seen how they nearly succeeded in dethroning a constitutionally elected chief minister, he said.

Noting that the Reddys were using their muscle power too, he said a situation had been created where even top officials were not in a position to visit the area of illegal mining.
Even the Survey of India wrote to the Union home ministry on July 24,2009 that it perceived serious threat to its men, he said.

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