Congress’ rally reaches Bellary, vows to end illegal mining


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IANS
Pictures by Anil Vas
Bellevision Media Network

Bellary, 10 August 2010: The Congress Monday marked the culmination of its 320-km march to the iron ore rich district of Bellary with a huge rally in Bellary city and vowed to end illegal mining in Karnataka. Central ministers hailing from Karnataka, S.M. Krishna, external affairs, M. Veerappa Moily, law, Mallikarjun Kharge, labour, and union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad joined the state Congress leaders in a show of strength against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers and iron ore mine owners from Bellary, the Reddy brothers.

 

Schools and colleges were shut for the day as thousands of Congress workers from several parts of the state converged on the Reddy brothers’ political base. More than 5,000 police personnel were deployed, all vehicles entering Bellary were checked and CCTVs installed at several places in the city to ensure there was no trouble as the Congress alleged that the Reddy brothers and their associate Health Minister B. Sriramulu had planned to disturb the rally.

 

The 320-km march started from Bangalore July 24 and was led by state Congress chief R.V. Deshpande, leaders of the opposition in the assembly and council Siddaramiah and Motamma respectively and state unit working president D.K. Shivakumar. Moily, Azad, Siddaramaiah and other speakers launched a scathing attack on the two-year old BJP government and charged Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa with dancing to the tunes of the Reddy brothers.

 

 

 

They asserted that steps will be taken to curb the menace of the mining lobby, not only in Karnataka but in other parts of the country as well. Azad, who is in-charge of Congress affairs in Karnataka, said the state’s "resources are concentrated in the hands of four individuals under BJP rule". "They are into illegal exports and BJP leaders keep mum because they are involved in it," he charged.

 

"Fifteen years ago when I was here (Bellary), I had not heard of these Reddy brothers. They did not even own a bicycle then. Now they claim they possess tens and thousands of crores. Where did it come from? They have amassed it by looting the natural resources of Karnataka," Azad said. He and Moily asserted that the central government was not weak and will not sit quiet and act to end "the plunder of natural resources".

 

Siddaramiah said the Congress was not scared of the Reddy brothers and added that he was ready to take on Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy in an electoral battle. Janardhana Reddy is a member of the legislative council, while his elder brother is Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy, and the younger G. Somashekara Reddy is an assembly member.

 

 

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