Monday, November 25, 2013

Illegal mining scam: Lad on his way out?

The illegal mining scam may claim its first wicket in the Siddaramaiah ministry with Infrastructure Minister Santosh Lad expected to resign soon. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday night is said to have asked Lad to quit ahead of the winter session of the state legislature set to begin in Belgaum from Monday.

According to sources, Lad, who is in New Delhi, is lobbying with senior Congress leaders to save his post. He is expected to return on Friday and tender his resignation, latest by Saturday.

Sources close to the CM said the decision is being seen as part of Congress strategy to blunt the opposition attack during the Belgaum session. Also, growing pressure from within the party seems to have influenced the CM’s decision in asking Lad to quit, sources added.

Fresh documents released
Meanwhile, social activist S R Hiremath on Thursday released a fresh set of documents against Infrastructure Development and Information Minister Santosh Lad and alleged that four mining companies were not separate companies but interconnected. The four mining companies are VS Lad and Sons, VSL Mining Company Pvt. Ltd, VSL Steels Limited and Aina Minerals Trading and Logistics.

Hiremath said a letter issued by the State Bank of India (SBI) to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) establishes the interconnection. Hiremath said all the four companies hold common interest and interconnection among these companies in several areas have been established. Hiremath said these were substantiated by the cover letter issued by the SBI to member secretary to CEC M K Jiwrajka, dated October 31, 2013, saying that VSL Mining Co Pvt Ltd is connected with VS Lad and Sons.

Hiremath also urged the state government to issue a notification under Section 5 of the Delhi Special Police Act, 1946, which enables the CBI to probe.

Minister Santosh Lad said the companies were represented by different people. “How can it be called interconnected if representatives of the companies are different. I am a partner in VSLS and also promoter of VS Steels Limited. It is only a financial statement of the SBI and I am not connected with the other two companies,” Lad said.
By Express news Service - BANGALORE
Published: 22nd November 2013 08:22 AM

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