Oppn sticks to demand for CBI probe, Assembly adjourned

Oppn sticks to demand for CBI probe, Assembly adjourned

As the House met, opposition members continued their dharna in the well, demanding a CBI probe into the mining scam even as Speaker K G Bopaiah went on to take up the day's agenda.

The opposition members, some covering their mouths, began the dharna in silence. But once the Speaker chose not to entertain Opposition leader Siddaramaiah's repeated appeals to give him an opportunity to speak, they constantly raised slogans, demanding a CBI probe and attacking the Government.

"The House is not in order. Please advise the Government to order a CBI probe", Siddaramaiah urged the Speaker, but to no avail.

The Speaker took up the question hour but no opposition member asked questions.As many as three bills were tabled and six were passed by voice-vote as the opposition continued its noisy dharna.

Opposition members tore off business agenda and the set of question and written answer papers and threw them in the air, as a mark of protest.

"It's a murder of democracy", Siddarmaiah said. As the opposition continued the dharna, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

Opposition Congress and JDS members had spent their third straight night in the Assembly demanding a CBI probe into the illegal iron ore mining and export scam that they alleged is to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore.

"As per the admission of Chief Minister (B S Yeddyurappa) himself, the scam is worth Rs 20,000 crore. But in reality, it could go up to Rs 50,000 crore", Siddaramaiah said this morning before the House assembled.

"Even today, if you go to Bellary, you can see illegal mining and transportation continuing unabated," he alleged.

The Chief Minister has repeatedly said the Lok Ayukta is probing the issue taking place since 2002-03 and its report is expected shortly.

Yeddyurappa has alleged those engaged in illegal mining and exports are mostly leaders of Congress and JDS and their relatives and that the opposition is pushing for a CBI probe fearing they would be exposed in the Lok Ayukta report.

Siddaramaiah said that Lok Ayukta cannot probe the scam as it has inter-state ramifications. Arguing strongly for a CBI enquiry, he said iron ore illegally mined in Karnataka had been shipped out from ports of other States as well, and investigation is also needed to be carried out in countries where they have been exported.

Moreover, he pointed out that the Chief Minister, Ministers and MLAs don’t come under the purview of investigation of Lok Ayukta.

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