Karnataka revenue minister G Karunakara Reddy on Friday slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for indicting him in his report on illegal mining, claiming that allegations against him was untrue and sought a public apology from him.
Reddy said that he had "retired" as director from Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC), which had been named in the Lokayukta report, in 2004 itself and there are records to prove it in the Registrar of Companies.
He said that "false allegations" have been made against him in the eighth chapter of the report and "making them without verifying the facts" has hurt him. "I don't have any relation with the company", he said, adding, "wrong message" has gone to the State vis-a-vis the report naming him.
Reddy said that if any politician or common man had made allegations, it would have been understandable on the premise that they had no information. He said that a responsible institution such as Lokayukta should have carefully examined the documents before filing the report.
He also said that he should have at least been given an opportunity (to explain) if there were documents against him, adding, without doing that, the Lokayukta had "misled" the State and the nation which has hurt him. "I don't know with what ill-intention this report had been filed".
"I don't want him to apologise to me. But he should tender public apology to the people of the State and the nation", Reddy said.
Reacting to Reddy's comments, Hegde said that if he receives letter from the minister, he would give him reply with evidence. "He (Reddy) was a full-time director. We know when he resigned also. There was this illegality...so....he is not out of illegalities."
"Let him (Reddy) send a notice, I will answer", the Lokayukta said. He also added that Reddy is not the only minister who questioned the report.
Large and medium industries minister Murugesh Nirani said last night, "Mining scam...for no reason there is an allegation (against the chief minister). This is a conspiracy. This is far from truth (allegations against Yeddyurappa)".
"There is a vast difference between the interim report (submitted by the Lokayukta in December 2008) and final report. There is no allegation (against the chief minister)", Nirani said.
Excise minister MP Renukacharya termed the report baseless and questioned as to why it has not made mention of illegal mining that allegedly took place during the tenure of Congress chief ministers SM Krishna and N Dharam Singh.
Karunakara Reddy's brother, G Janardhana Reddy, who has also been named in the report, had said that there was no need for him to resign as once the chief minister quits, the entire cabinet "goes away".