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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Reddy says panel report biased, Oppn guns for his resignation

PTI  Bangalore, January 07, 2011
First Published: 19:13 IST(7/1/2011) | Last Updated: 19:14 IST(7/1/2011)

Opposition parties today demanded resignation of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers in his ministry hours after a Supreme Court-appointed panel recommended cancellation of mining lease for flouting environmental laws.

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Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy, however, termed as "biased" the report submitted by Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to the apex court today in which four mining firms owned by the Reddy brothers were blamed for illegal mining and encroaching forest land.

"The report is biased," Reddy told reporters when asked about his comment.

Reddy alleged that a politician was behind the report and he would disclose his name shortly.

He said his companies would file objections to the CEC report within the stipulated two weeks.

Already on warpath with the Yedyurappa Government, the opposition used the report to sharpen its attack saying the Chief Minister should quit for "misleading" the legislature and the Governor that his government had checked illegal mining.

The CEC report had established that illegal mining was on in the state, Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah said.

Governor H R Bhardwaj in his address to the joint sitting of the state legislature yesterday had said the government had taken steps to curb illegal mining.

Janardhana Reddy and his brother Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy should quit the ministry immediately, Siddaramiah demanded.

"Our allegation that Reddy brothers were engaged in illegal mining has been now proved by the CEC report. We will continue our fight against illegal mining," he said.

The Chief Minister had given false information to people and betrayed them, said Siddaramaiah, who led a 320-km Bangalore-Bellary padayatra against illegal mining last year.

"Yeddyurappa has no right to continue as chief minister", he said.

JD-S leader H D Kumaraswamy, who has been spearheading the oust Yeddyurappa campaign over the mining and land denotification issues, said the Chief Minister should resign on moral grounds and the Reddy brothers too should quit immediately.

The high-powered panel appointed by the apex court recommended cancellation of mining lease to powerful Reddy brothers' firms in Andhra Pradesh, saying their Obulapuram Mining Company had openly flouted various environmental laws in the mining operations.

It recommended cancellation of mining lease to four different mines spread over 140 acres on grounds of, among others, large scale illegal mining in the Bellary Reserve Forest area.

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