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Rediff.com  » News » BJP, Cong under influence of mining mafia, alleges Chandrababu

BJP, Cong under influence of mining mafia, alleges Chandrababu

November 20, 2009 16:10 IST
Former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu, who is in the thick of a fight against a powerful mine owner and Karnataka's tourism minister Galli Janardhan Reddy, has chided the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress for being under control of mining mafia.

Naidu, who is demanding a probe by a serving Supreme Court judge in to illegal mining and various other violations of law by Galli Janardhan Reddy's mining companies in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and suspension of his mining activity, said that while the BJP had completely surrendered to Galli Janardhan Reddy's blackmail, the Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh and in New Delhi were also supporting him.

The opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh are protesting against Obulapuram Mining Company and Anantapur Mining Company of Galli Janardhan Reddy for its 'illegal' mining of iron ore and violation of several other laws.

Addressing mediapersons in Hyderabad, Naidu said that Galli Janardhan Reddy, who had 'nothing in 2004 had now tons and tons of money and was using the ill-gotten wealth to capture political power.'

"He has built a private army. He has spent his money in Karnataka politics. This mafia is having money power, muscle power apart from political power. In Karnataka, they are in government and they are blackmailing that government," he said.

Referring to Galli Janardhan Reddy's recent revolt against Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Chandrababu Naidu said, the CM had to weep in public expressing his helplessness before this muscle and money power of mafia.  "A constitutional entity, a person who heads the state, a person who had the responsibility to protect government wealth has helplessly surrendered. He is only a dummy CM," he said.

Lashing out at the BJP's central leadership, Naidu said that they were under the pressure of Galli Janardhan Reddy just to save their government in Karnataka. "Where are their ethics and morals. Is it not their duty to control all these things and disown such a person?" he asked.

On Congress, he said while the party leaders in Karnataka were fighting against Galli Janardhan Reddy, the leaders in Andhra Pradesh were supporting him. "Is it not unethical and shameful. Sonia Gandhi has to answer as party president and Manmohan Singh has to answer," he said.

Talking of the influence of Galli Janardhan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, he said that Central Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court on forest and environment issues had directed twice the state government to carry out a fresh survey for re-establishing the borders between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, as 'it was destroyed by Galli Janardhan Reddy's company.' "But the state government refused to do it making one excuse or the other," Naidu said.

He said even the Survey of India organisation was afraid to enter Obulapuram mining area without the protection of Central Reserve Police Force.  

"Such is the hold of the mining mafia on Andhra Pradesh government that when an inspector general of police Subhramanyam was going to inspect Obulapuram, he was called back by the DG, Vigilance and Enforced Dinesh Reddy, because his son-in-law works in OMC," Naidu said.

Similarly brother-in-law of  Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Rajagopal was also a director in OMC.

He also pointed out that when Anantapur district forest officer Kallol Biswas visited Obulapuram Mines, he was chased out and a false case was booked against him by OMC.

Naidu also targeted the family of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, saying they had links with Galli Janardhan Reddy. "They have admitted direct links between Red Gold company of Galli Janardhan Reddy and Jagati Publications of Jaganmohan Reddy, as both the companies were registered with the same address."

"I am not saying this because YSR is not there any more. I have been raising the issue of these links for the last five years in the state assembly and established it through documents," Naidu said.

He pointed out that the Congress government had leased a mine in Obulapuram to Galli's company in 2007 on the condition that its ore will be used only for the Brahmini Steel plant to be set up in Kadapa, but in gross violation of that, the iron ore was being exported.

Naidu alleged that Galli Janardhan Reddy had amassed Rs 10,000 crore from illegal mining and other violations in Obulapuram mine alone.  Warning that with its immense money, muscle and political power, mining mafia was posing a direct threat to democracy in the country, Naidu said it was the duty of all democratic forces, including the media, to fight against the mafia at the national level. He said Galli had also pumped in his money in to Andhra Pradesh to help Congress to win the last elections. "He spent Rs 20 crore in my constituency alone trying to defeat me but failed," Naidu said.

Naidu alleged that Janardhan Reddy-led mafia was extorting crores of rupees from other mine owners for allowing the transport of their iron ore to Krishnapatnam port at the rate of Rs 150 per truck. He was also forcing other mine owners to surrender their lease to him.

Naidu, who is planning to go to Delhi by the end of the month to meet the other parties on the issue of mining mafia, demanded that a multi disciplinary team should be constituted to investigate the affairs of Obulapuram mining company on the lines of probe in to Satyam scandal to bring out all the financial and other irregularities, cancellation of all the five mine leases in Anantapur and confiscation of the iron ore already mined.

"We are very clear that a very mafia is at work and it is more dangerous than the terrorist, extremists and Naxalites," he said.

Naidu said that the precious iron ore reserves in Anantapur, which should have yielded Rs 4000 crore to the state government, were now giving a petty Rs 9 crore income under the present lease system.

He demanded that the government should nationalise all the mines and do value addition to the natural resources to make it more beneficial for the exchequer, instead of simply giving away the minerals to the private companies.

Image: Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad