BENGALURU: The ruling Congress on Tuesday taunted the Narendra Modi government for letting off Karnataka's infamous Reddy mining brothers and fielding three of them for the May 12 state assembly elections.
"The Modi government has become the benefactor, protector, defender of the Bellary Gang (Reddy brothers) for denuding Kannadigas of their rich natural resources through its puppet CBI," Congress media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here.
Terming the iron ore mining scam in the state biggest, Surjewala said the then anti-graft watchdog Justice Santosh Hegde exposed the unholy nexus of BJP's chief ministerial face B S Yeddyurappa with the Reddy brothers.
"The state Lokayukta's report of 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.
Accusing the BJP of betraying Kannadigas and protecting the Reddy brothers, the party official said iron ore valued at Rs 35,000 crore was mined, extracted and sold to domestic and export markets illegally, as revealed in the probe report.
On return to power after the May 2013 assembly elections, the Congress government asked the CBI on November 18, 2013 to probe into the brazen loot of iron-ore and siphoning off Rs 35,000 crore by sale and export of iron ore through 9 sea ports such as Karwar and New Mangaluru Port Trust on the west coast, in coastal Karnataka, Panaji and Murmagoa in Goa, Ennor 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 the party official.