Even as it moves closer to re-inducting former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa,who is accused of taking bribes to facilitate illegal iron ore mining,the BJP Friday alleged that a minister in the Congress government was involved in the mining scam.
It demanded that Santosh Lad,the minister for infrastructure and information,be sacked because he was associated with V S Lad and Sons,a firm named by the Lokayukta in its 2010 report on illegal mining.
The BJP submitted a memorandum to governor H R Bhardwaj,urging him to direct the Siddaramaiah government to sack Lad. The governor,incidentally,had said in a recent media interaction that there should be no discrimination on party lines as far as action against illegal mining was concerned.
Lad must be dismissed from the cabinet as his company V S Lad and Sons has been indicted for supplying 10,000 metric tonne iron ore without permits, former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda said after meeting the governor.
The BJP had punished its scam-tainted leaders when it was in power,Gowda said,and now it was the Congresss turn to act against Lad. The BJP had forced Yeddyurappa to step down as chief minister in 2011 after he was indicted by the Lokayakuta.
Siddaramaiah has refused to remove Lad on the ground that his name does not figure in the scam. Lad had recently won plaudits for his role in rescuing pilgrims from Karnataka who were stranded in Uttarakhand after the floods.
He has claimed he is not associated with the V S Lad and Sons,which is run by some other members of his family.
The BJP,however,said it has given the governor documents that suggest he became part of V S Lad and Sons when it was reconstituted in February 2006.
Why did Siddaramaiah declare Lad innocent without looking at the facts. He wants to shield the tainted minister, Gowda said.