Congress to BJP on Reddy brothers: No one stole ₹35,000 crore?

Attacking the BJP, Congress wanted to know why the Modi govt had become the “benefactor and defender” of the Reddy brothers even after they had allegedly looted Kannadigas of their natural resources

Photo by Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

The Karnataka Congress took potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party for having fielded the infamous and tainted Reddy Brothers from Bellary even after Amit Shah had claimed earlier this month that there was no relation between the party and Reddy brothers and that tickets for this election would be issued on merit and public life of the candidates.

Attacking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of tickets to two of the three Reddy brothers, Somashekhar Reddy and Karunakar Reddy, their aide B Sriramulu, and five other associates, Congress leaders, Randeep Surjewala, Prof Rajiv Gowda and Priyanka Chaturvedi, demanded to know why the Prime Minister was shielding the Bellary gang.

Reminding Kannadigas of PM Modi’s poll promise ‘Na khaunga, Na khaane doonga’, they asked if this too was another one of the party’s jumlas.

“Did anyone not steal the iron ore of ₹35,000 crore? Why Modiji and Amit Shah are saving the accused for robbing natural resources and public money, and what is the reason for giving eight tickets to Reddy Brothers & Company in the Karnataka elections?” asked Surjewala.

Going for the jugular, Surjewala said the Modi government has become the benefactor, protector and defender of the Bellary Gang (Reddy brothers) for denuding Kannadigas of their rich natural resources through its puppet CBI.

Terming the iron ore mining scam in the biggest the state had seen, Surjewala said the then anti-graft watchdog Justice Santosh Hegde exposed the unholy nexus of BJP's chief ministerial face BS Yeddyurappa with the Reddy brothers.

"The state Lokayukta's report by Justice Santosh Hegde released on July 27, 2011, led to the removal of Yeddyurappa as the BJP's first Chief Minister in the south on July 31, 2011. No wonder Yeddyurappa and Reddy brothers are jail birds," noted Surjewala. The Lokayukta report had exposed the biggest iron ore mining scandal in Karnataka and the alliance between Yedurappa-Reddy brothers.

Accusing the BJP of betraying Kannadigas and protecting the Reddy brothers, the party official said iron ore valued at ₹35,000 crore was mined, extracted and sold to domestic and export markets illegally, as revealed in the probe report.

When the Congress government had returned to power after May 2013 elections, they had asked the CBI on November 18, 2013, to probe into the loot of iron-ore and siphoning off of ₹35,000 crore by sale and export of iron ore through nine sea ports such as Karwar and New Mangaluru Port Trust in coastal Karnataka, Panaji and Mormugao in Goa, Ennore and Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Krishna Pattanam, Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

"Undeterred by the conspiracy to protect the Bellary Gang and put a lid on the illegal iron-ore mining scam", our government has shown the courage of conviction to prosecute and punish the looters of precious natural resources of Karnataka," added Surjewala.

With agency inputs

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