Karnataka CM B.S. Yeddyurappa asked the Lokayukta on Monday to conduct a probe into illegal exports of minerals from the state.
The move came at a time when Yeddyurappa was accused of sheltering the Reddy brothers, G. Janardhana Reddy and G. Karunakar Reddy, his ministerial colleagues.
Karnataka Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy on Monday sought to turn the tables on some Congress leaders who have brought charges of illegal mining against him and his kin.
The minister said the Congress leaders’ names found mention in Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hedge’s illegal-mining earlier report, which is being used to implicate the Reddy family.
G. Janardhana Reddy said his family’s mining activities were legal and they (family) “were as pure as 24 carat gold”.
“It is our fate that we became rich and not through the loot as alleged by the Congress leaders,” he said, adding that he would resign if anyone could prove that he or his family indulged in illegal mining.
The Congress leaders named by him are M.Y. Ghorpade (former minister), Allum Veerabhadrappa (former Karnataka Congress chief), H.G. Ramulu (former MP), Adbul Wahab (ex-Bellary district Congress committee head), and few others.
G. Janardhana Reddy said he was ready to face a probe into the matter by any agency.
The Reddy brothers own the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), which has been accused of encroaching on forest land in Andhra and Karnataka.
The CPI(M) said on Monday that mines where illegal activities had been going on should be nationalised.
“In cases where illegal mining activities are established, those mines should be nationalised,” the party politburo said, and demanded a CBI probe into the reported illegal mining in Karnataka.
(With inputs from New Delhi)