Nation Politics 25 Apr 2018 Congress slams BJP f ...

Congress slams BJP for rewarding mine lords

Published Apr 25, 2018, 6:12 am IST
Updated Apr 25, 2018, 6:12 am IST
The Congress has given tickets to five former BJP leaders and those involved in illegal mining scam.
Randeep Singh Surjewala  (Photo: PTI)
 Randeep Singh Surjewala (Photo: PTI)

BENGALURU: Lambasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for foregoing his promise of providing a clean and transparent government, senior Congress leaders charged that owing to "the lust for power" he had rewarded the Reddy brothers' with tickets for eight Assembly constituencies though they looted the state through a Rs 35,000 crore illegal iron ore mining scam, while defending the Congress for issuing tickets to five leaders 'tainted' by the scam, saying the Congress had not scrapped the investigation which was ongoing. 

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, senior leader and media incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala said Mr Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had come to the rescue of the "Ballari Gang" and tainted leader B. S. Yeddyurappa by "coercing the CBI" to close six important cases of illegal iron ore exports from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and had absolved the Reddy brothers.     


The Congress has given tickets to five former BJP leaders and those involved in illegal mining scam including Anand Singh, B Nagendra, Satish Sail, who were all jailed in this case, besides two others. He claimed that the Congress government in Karnataka would continue with the investigation, undeterred by a conspiracy to protect the 'Ballari Gang' and constituted the SIT on March 21, 2018, to probe these cases.

Mr Surjewala asked why Mr Modi and Mr Shah were "shielding" the accused in "loot of public money and plundering natural resources" and the reason for giving tickets to the Reddy brothers and their supporters.


"The BJP was using CBI for wrong purposes and forced the investigative agency to close as many as six cases including those against the Reddy brothers. This was against the thorough report submitted by the then Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde in 2011," he charged. 

He pointed out that the Congress government in Karnataka demonstrated moral courage by withdrawing those six cases from the CBI and formed a separate SIT by the state police to probe the illegal mining case. In addition, the BJP had gone out of the way and issued tickets to Reddy brothers and their associates - Gali Karunakar Reddy, Gali Somasekhar Reddy, B Sriramulu and their followers Lallesh Reddy, T. H. Suresh Babu, Sanna Fakirappa and Sai Kumar.


In response to a question on how the Congress could level such charges when it had accommodated five leaders, who were also involved in the mining scam, and given them tickets for Assembly polls on May 12, Mr Surjewalal said the SIT would probe the case and "whoever at fault would be punished".

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru