In what may be fresh trouble for the BJP in Karnataka, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde has confirmed that Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has been named in his report on illegal mining. The 8,000-page report also indicts the Reddy brothers of Bellary. Also in the dock is former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy.
Speaking to a local TV channel this morning, Santosh Hedge said, "Illegal mining has caused a loss of 1800 crore rupees to state." He also said that the CM's son and son-in-have been named in the report, adding that 10 crore rupees were donated by a mining company to a trust owned by the CM's family.
Justice Hegde added that he changed his phone number because he suspected it was being tapped and added that this could well be the reason why his report was leaked.
The former Supreme Court judge will submit his report to the Chief Secretary tomorrow. "There is no political will to stop illegal mining, everybody's finger is in the till," Mr Hegde told NDTV in an interview two days ago.
Mr Hegde has alleged that senior BJP leaders had approached him and asked him not to mention Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa in his report. The party has denied this. "It is my word against theirs," said Mr Hegde. He had also claimed that the losses to the state from illegal mining far exceed Rs 700 crore, the figure he quoted in an earlier report.
Chief Minister Yeddyurappa had rejected Justice Hegde's earlier report on illegal mining, submitted in December 2008, and ordered his own investigation.
(With PTI Inputs)
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