Addressing a press conference in Bangalore, KPCC President R V Deshpande said the dates for the padayatra will be finalised on Monday. The agitation is in support of the party’s demand for a CBI probe into the illegal mining in the State.
Party sources said the padayatra is likely to culminate at Bellary on August 9, to coincide with Gandhiji’s call for “Quit India Movement” 68 years ago. “The rally at Bellary on that day will call for removal of the Reddy brothers from the Cabinet,” the sources said.
The padayatra will cover the districts of Bangalore (urban), Bangalore (rural), Tumkur, Chitradurga and Bellary. “We plan to cover the distance of 320 km between Bangalore and Bellary in 15 days, traversing around 20 km per day. Public meetings will be held at each district and a massive convention will be held on reaching Bellary,” Deshpande said. Several Central leaders of the Congress are also likely to join the agitation.
He said the cases of illegal mining and export of iron ore in the State need to be handed over to the CBI as they involved a gamut of violations including Directorate of Revenue Intelligence norms, violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act, Income Tax, Commercial Taxes, Entry Tax and Royalty.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had also admitted on the floor of the Legislative Assembly that illegal export of iron ore was prevalent in the State and 1.5 lakh tonnes of ore had been exported without valid permits during the last one year, Deshpande said.
Desphande said the party delegation that had visited New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC President Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had apprised them of the breakdown on law and order and rampant corruption in the State.
“They have promised that action will be taken according to provisions of law and the constitution,” he added.