BHOPAL: A political controversy has erupted within the ruling Congress in Madhya Pradesh after senior cabinet minister Dr Govind Singh recently admitted that illegal sand and stone mining were still rampant in the state, particularly in Bhind and Datia districts.
Dr Singh, the seven-time sitting MLA from Lahar seat of Bhind district and the minister for cooperatives, parliamentary affairs and general administration in the Kamal Nath government had recently admitted before journalists that illegal sand and stone mining was still rampant in the state even eight months after the new government attained power in MP.
Singh, who is also the minister in-charge for Datia district of Gwalior-Chambal region had further said that daily the state was losing royalty of Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore through illegal sand mining in Bhind and Datia districts alone. The Congress veteran, who is considered close to former CM Digvijaya Singh had also claimed that illegal mining in Datia and Gwalior districts was happening in collusion with local police.
Reacting to Singh’s public utterances, MP Congress State Secretary Sunil Tiwari (also the Datia District Congress vice president) wrote a letter to Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday accusing the senior cabinet minister Dr Govind Singh only for aiding illegal mining in Datia and Bhind districts. In his letter, Tiwari wrote that police station in-charges who were posted in Datia due to Singh were aiding illegal mining in Datia district.
Singh’s public utterances also triggered criticism from other senior Congress leaders, including PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma and legislators OPS Bhadauria and Ranveer Jatav and state Congress general secretary Ashok Chaudhary.
Public Works Department Minister Sajjan Singh Verma said that instead of going public, Singh should have done something in this regard in districts like Datia, Bhind and Morena.
The leaders questioned why the minister did not keep his views in the Cabinet meeting instead of speaking publically. They were of the opinion that Singh’s home town was facing maximum illegal mining and even accused him of being involved in it.