Illegal mining issue: Cong to start 'Bellary chalo' programme

Last Updated 19 July 2010, 08:08 IST

The padayatra would commence from Freedom Park in the city and end on August nine at Bellary where a massive rally will be held, KPCC President R V Deshpande told reporters here.

The padayatra is not against any individual but against illegal mining, Deshpande said.
Tourism Minister G Jarnardhan Reddy, his brother and Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy and their family associate Health Minister B Sreeramulu have rejected opposition Congress and JDS charge that they were involved in illegal mining.

Protesting over the issue, the opposition parties disrupted proceedings in the Assembly last week, which was adjourned sine-die.

Congress last week had said it would launch the padayatra from Bangalore to Bellary.
KPCC held a meeting here yesterday to finalise date for the programme.

Deshpande said CBI probe into "illegal mining, loot in mining sector and illegal export of iron ore" was a 'must' as it had inter-state and intenational ramifications. The Lokayukta could not investigate such matters as it involved violations like FERA, IT and payment of royalties, he said.

Deshpande and opposition Congress leader in the state Assembly Siddaramaiah slammed Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa for giving a "clean chit" to Reddy brothers and added that "the Chief Minister admits to illegal mining and illegal exports,but still say Reddys are honest.It is an irresponsible statement", they said.

To a question whether JD(S) would also join the padayatra, Deshpande said the Congress high command would decide about it if they made a request to this effect.

JD(S), which particiated in the indefinite dharna along with Congress in both houses of the legislatures last week, had said it would also join hands in the fight against illegal mining.

(Published 19 July 2010, 07:00 IST)

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