Krishna slams Sadananda Govt on mining report to CEC

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SM Krishna
Bangalore, Jun 27: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna today accused the BJP government in Karnataka of sending "doctored and concocted" information to a Supreme Court appointed panel on illegal mining, saying it was a deliberate attempt to 'defame' him.

"A deliberate attempt has been made to defame me by sending doctored and concocted information subsequent to filing of the first response", he said in a letter to Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, whose government recently sent its supplementary response to the Apex Court's Central Empowered Committee.

The government's action came amid pressure by BS Yeddyurappa, who himself had to quit as Chief Minister over the Lokayukta report on illegal mining in July last year that the first report sent in May had 'suppressed' certain facts over illegal mining during the regime of three former Chief Ministers-- Krishna, N Dharam Singh and HD Kumaraswamy.

Rejecting allegations that he had de-reserved forest area for mining, Krishna said, "it is both unfortunate and beyond comprehension that the same government felt compelled to file a second response to CEC even when not asked for".

He said the cabinet at its Dec 16, 2002 meeting decided to de-reserve 11,620.56 sq km of mineral bearing areas out of a total of 26,464.58 sq km that had been earlier reserved for state exploitation.

"What is very obvious and is factually correct is that the forests were not de-reserved as is being wrongly made out. It is mineral bearing areas and not forests that were de-reserved," he said.

PTI

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