Andhra axes mining lease to YSR's son-in-law

Mounting further pressure on late Andhra  Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's family, the state  government Monday cancelled the mining lease given to his son-in-law Anil  Kumar.

The government directed the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development  Corp (APMDC) to cancel the lease given to Rakshana Steels, a company promoted by Anil Kumar, for mining over 1.41 lakh acres in  Khammam and Warangal districts.

The opposition parties and a section of leaders within the ruling Congress had been demanding cancellation of the lease, citing it as an instance of the largescale loot of state's minerals by the family of YSR, as the late chief minister was popularly known.

It was in February 2009 that then chief minister YSR illegally allotted a massive mineral-rich mining lease to his son-in-law, who is also an evangelist.

The APMDC entered into a joint venture with Rakshana Steels to mine  barytes and iron ore in the two districts. 

Under the deal, Rakshana Steels also promised to set up an integrated steel plant with an investment of Rs.500 crore.

The opposition parties allege that YSR allotted tribal land in violation of all rules. There were no clearances from the forest and environment ministries of the central government.

YSR died in a helicopter crash Sep 2, 2009, four months after he led the Congress to power.

Leaders of the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India-Marxist welcomed the government move.

The government cancelled the lease at a time when YSR's son and YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is in jail in a case involving illegal assets. The opposition parties and some leaders of Congress have been demanding cancellation of all projects cleared by YSR as they were aimed at benefiting his family or companies which invested in his son's business.

This is the second project scrapped by the government this month. On June 2, the government had terminated the MoU with former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy's Brahmani Industries Ltd (BIL) for a steel plant in Kadapa district.

YSR had had allotted 10,760 acres of land to BIL for setting up an integrated steel plant with an initial production capacity of two million tonnes per annum.

Janardhan Reddy, who had close links with YSR's family, is now in jail in illegal mining scams in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

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