HDK targets Narayana Gowda over illegal mining in Mandya

NOCs are being issued against payment of bribe, he alleges

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Sunday targeted Minister for Youth Empowerment and Sports K.C. Narayana Gowda over illegal mining activity in Mandya.

Mr. Gowda, who is also the Minister in charge of Mandya district, was among the MLAs who quit the JD(S) and joined the BJP in 2019 to bring down the Mr. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government.

Referring to the crackdown on illegal mining activity in different parts of Mandya in the wake of the recent blast in Shivamogga, Mr. Kumaraswamy sought to know what was preventing Mr. Gowda from taking steps to stop illegal quarrying in the district during the last 14-15 months.

Stating that he had never allowed any illegal mining nor supported people engaged in the activity during his entire political career, Mr. Kumaraswamy asked Mr. Gowda whether the district in-charge Minister should realise that rampant illegal mining was going on in the district only after the explosion in Shivamogga.

Tops State

The former Chief Minister referred to media reports and claimed that Mandya district topped the State in illegal mining activity and alleged that the grapevine is that the NOCs for mining are issued against payment of a bribe. More than half of the C forms or NOCs issued in Mandya district were for illegal mining activity, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged and sought to know where has the bribe money had gone.

If Mr. Narayana Gowda was to really have concern for protecting the district’s natural resources and environment, he would have taken action against the illegal mining activity much earlier and would not have waited for the Shivamogga explosion, the former Chief Minister said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy trained his guns on Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also for his statement asking people to regularise all their mining activity. “The Chief Minister’s statement is quite revealing. The BJP government wants to send a message to people that they are in favour of regularising all illegal activities,” he said before warning Mr. Yediyurappa against playing with the lives of the people.

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