Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Saturday virtually ruled out the removal of Reddy brothers from his ministry for the present, saying such a step could be considered if charges are proved.
"There are no charges against any minister. But if there are charges, I am going to remove them within 24 hours," he told reporters after a meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi.
He was asked if he would follow the example of senior BJP leader LK Advani, who quit Parliament in the early 90s when allegations were made against him in the hawala scandal, and ask his ministers to quit.
He said the opposition Congress-JD(S) campaign against the Reddy brothers -- Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G Karunakaran Reddy -- was born out of political enmity.
To a question why his government was fighting shy of instituting a CBI inquiry into the illegal mining issue, Yeddyurappa said the institution of Lokayukta has been given "all the powers" and it can take the help of Central government and any state government and even Central agencies.
"He is investigating the mining issue. As early as possible, we are going to refer all cases starting from 2002. Soon truth will come out and whoever is culprit, we will punish them," he said.
On his meeting with Chidambaram, he said he discussed the issues of illegal mining, resignation of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde and its subsequent withdrawal, law and order situation and the current Belgaum row.
The chief minister said the only way to stop illegal mining would be to stop iron ore exports and allow only value-added industry. There was no other way, he said, adding he has conveyed this to the Central government.