People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 32

August 08, 2010



CPI(M), CPI Protest Illegal Mining, Demand CBI Probe


THE Karnataka state units of the CPI(M) and CPI jointly organised a protest demonstration and public meeting at Bellary on August 3, 2010, demanding a CBI enquiry in the scam involving illegal mining, transportation and export of iron ore from the state.


Both the parties have been raising voice against illegal mining since long. Today, however, all the opposition parties, various organisations, writers and intelligentsia are coming to the streets.


On the other hand, in a first-rate political drama, the chief minister has already declared that he would take action against his cabinet colleagues only if sufficient proof of illegal mining was given.


This statement of the chief minister has assured protection for the Reddy brothers who are looting the mines in the areas bordering Andhra Pradesh. In fact, the Reddy brothers do not need to do any mining to earn money; they are forcing other companies to pay haftas and mamul. This is criminal extortion of money or “protection money” in their parlance.


In Karnataka, there are hundreds of companies which are extracting minerals from the mines illegally. Already the Lokayukta have identified 50 such companies. The owners of these companies belong to various political parties including the Congress. But all these companies are doing illegal mining and are giving hafta to the Reddy brothers. In such a situation, it is obvious that these companies would not come forward to provide any proof against illegal mining; they are themselves involved in it neck-deep.


Illegal mining is continuing in the state for the last 15 years. The question is: why is the ruling BJP not trying to stop this loot? It is because the more the illegal mining is there, the more would be the money coming to the BJP’s coffers, and the more favourable will be the position of the party for perpetrating something like the infamous ‘Operation Kamala’ of May 2008. Even the BJP high command has showered its blessings upon the Reddy brothers. All this exposes the real face of the BJP which was extra-vocal against the same mafiaite Reddy Brothers and their activities when the Congress was in power in the state.


The CPI(M) and the CPI are of the opinion, that there is no use of the state government slapping a ban on the export of iron ore because ore can be exported from Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Goa etc if not from Karnataka. The recently imposed ban is, in fact, only eyewash. Therefore, both the parties have demanded that there should be a thorough enquiry into the whole affair by the CBI, because it involves several agencies relating to the forest, environment, border and other departments.


In a statement issued earlier on July 28, the CPI(M) and the CPI have already made it clear that the role of the central government is important in stopping illegal mining. The liberalisation and privatisation policies of the central government have created ample scope for loot of the mines. Therefore, immediate nationalisation of the mines is absolutely necessary. At the same time, both the parties have demanded that the central government must formulate a national mining policy, keeping in mind of the development of indigenous industries and generation of employment opportunities. Issuance of mining licenses, regulating the exports and the port, collection of excise duty etc come under the jurisdiction powers of the central government. That is why the central government must intervene and take immediate action against the culprits, no matter whichever party they belong to.