BANGALORE: Charging that Congress leader D K Shivakumar and his relatives were involved in illegal granite mining in Ramanagaram district, Forest Minister C P Yogeshwar said the government was deprived of crores in the form of tax. He said here on Mondaythat a preliminary inquiry against Shivakumar, ordered after he took over as forest minister, revealed encroachment on forest and revenue lands for illegal mining in Ramanagaram district.
He stated that 22 companies — 11 of them belonging to Shivakumar and his clan — evaded taxes worth `64 crore during 2006-07. Yogeshwar released a copy of a letter submitted to the CM in 2009 in which Shivakumar had sought dropping of all cases against his companies and relatives.
He also charged that Shivakumar was also involved in illegal export of iron ore from Bellary district by procuring it at cheap rate from the state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited (MML). “The wealth amassed by the former minister would be equal to the size of the state budget,” Yogeshwar said. The CM had constituted a fact-finding committee on this issue, he said, and added that action would be taken against the guilty. Strongly refuting the charges, Shivakumar challenged the state to confiscate his assets and hold an inquiry. Stating that Yogeshwar was facing charges for committing various economic offences, he said “to cover up his face” he was slinging mud on others.