A month after the Reddy brothers — Karnataka ministers G. Janardhana and G. Karunakara — mounted pressure on the BJP to remove Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, they seem to be headed for trouble.
The Centre has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the duo’s alleged illegal mining activities in the Bellary Reserve forest of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.
A notification to this effect was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) two days ago, following the Andhra Pradesh government’s recommendations.
The Centre on December 1 asked the agency to investigate “boundary disputes, illegal mining activities and other related offenses” of Obulapuram Mining Company and Bellary Iron Ore — both firms owned by the brothers — in Anantapur.
The K. Rosaiah-led Andhra Pradesh government recommended the probe after forest officials reported that the Obulapuram Mining Company was allegedly indulging in illegal mining of iron ore, encroachment of reserve forests, road construction in the forest area and transportation of ore, in violation of the permits issued to the company.
“A reference has come from the government to the CBI for a thorough probe,” said a CBI official who did not want to be identified. “We’ve started the investigations.”
The Telugu Desam Party, the CPI and CPM had been alleging that the Andhra Pradesh government had allowed illegal mining in the area.
In Karnataka, Yeddyurappa had managed to strike a compromise with the Reddy brothers by agreeing to their demands to either remove or transfer his loyalists in the government. But the Reddys are now on the back foot in the neighbouring state.