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BJP raps Digvijay Singh for dragging top leaders into illegal mining scam


September 6, 2011 - New Delhi

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday criticised senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for accusing him and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj of having 'business relations' with mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, who was implicated and arrested in connection with the illegal quarrying scam in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Interacting with mediapersons after the party's parliamentary meeting here, Naidu challenged Singh to order an enquiry into the matter and prove the allegations.

"The Congress Party is back to its old strategy of spit and run, it is neck deep in corruption, so it wants to defame the opposition as part of its strategy. Yesterday, Digvijay Singh as usual made a baseless, worthless, meaningless, absurd allegation against Sushma Swaraj and myself. I challenge Digvijay Singh and his party, if they have guts, let there be an enquiry into the allegation. If he has the capacity, let him get an enquiry ordered and if he has no capacity, better he follows the advice of Anna Hazare and go to mental asylum," said Naidu.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at Reddy's residence in Bellary district of Karnataka in connection with the alleged illegal iron-ore mining case that had caused a loss of around 3.6 billion dollars to the state exchequer between the period of 2006 and 2010.

Reddy, a powerful figure in the mining sector, had earlier served as tourism and infrastructure minister, in the BJP-ruled state.

The CBI also held BV Srinivasa Reddy, the head of a mining company owned by the former minister, in connection with the alleged scam.

Meanwhile, commenting on Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal's appointment of retired Justice R. A. Mehta as the state's provincial Ombudsman without consulting the Narendra Modi government, BJP leader Gopinath Munde said the federal government should make an immediate announcement of cancellation of appointment of the provincial Ombudsman.

"Today we would demand in both the houses, that the federal government should make the announcement of cancellation of notification of the Lokayukta (Ombudsman) appointed in Gujarat, by the provincial Governor. Under our constitution, the state cabinet has the right to elect the state Ombudsman and without the advice of the cabinet, the Governor cannot take the decision on his own. It would harm our federal structure, so we have given the notice to suspend the question hour. And we demand that notification of the Gujarat Governor should be suspended," said Munde.

The party called on President Pratibha Patil on Friday (September 02) and sought the dismissal or recall of the governor.

According to the Indian Constitution, the governor is the nominal head of the province, who is appointed by the president on the advice of the federal government.

The ruling party, more often than not, misuses the Governor's post to settle political scores with the opposition parties that are ruling the state.

ANI

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