Rosaiah says he will abide by court order on mining

November 22nd, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Hyderabad, Nov 22 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah Sunday rejected the opposition Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) demand for his resignation over alleged irregularities by Karnataka minister G. Janardhan Reddy’s mining firm. He, however, said his government would abide by the Supreme Court verdict on the issue.
Taking strong exception to TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s allegation that he was trying to shield Janardhan Reddy’s Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), Rosaiah challenged Naidu for a debate on the corruption allegations during his nine-year rule.

Rosaiah lashed out at Naidu for alleging that he and top officials were on the payroll of OMC. “A person with a sound mind will not make such wild allegations and use such language,” the chief minister told a news conference.

Rosaiah said despite being defeated in recent elections, Naidu appeared in great haste to come to power and advised him to respect the people’s verdict.

He also offered to resign as chief minister if the TDP gets one seat more than the ruling Congress party in the 150-member Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections scheduled to be held Monday.

The chief minister said the government would act if the Supreme Court issues any directions on the basis of the report of the Central Empowered Committee appointed by the apex court on the mining issue.

The Committee, in its report submitted to the court Friday, established illegal mining activity in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka and recommended that the mining in the region be stopped till the boundaries of all mining lease holders are clearly demarcated.

“I have seen media reports about the committee’s observations but the government can’t go by the report and hence it will wait for the court verdict,” he said.

Asserting that the government had no intention to shield anybody, he said a three-member committee was set up to probe the allegations of illegal mining.

“But before the committee could submit its report we realised that the issue has inter-state ramifications and hence we requested the Centre to order a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry,” he said.

Rosaiah said the CBI inquiry would go to the root of the problem and pointed out that mining lease to OMC was issued during Naidu’s rule.

The TDP chief had alleged that both the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments had surrendered to the “mining mafia”.

Naidu also alleged that Janardhan Reddy had business links with former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s family.

Janardhan Reddy is minister for tourism in Karnataka. His elder brother is revenue minister and younger brother is a legislator.

The powerful Reddy brothers had staged a revolt against B.S. Yeddyurappa early this month and the crisis ended after the Karnataka chief minister agreed to their demands at the intervention of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership.

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