Monday, Dec 22, 2003
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Speaking to presspersons here, he asked how could the advocate of the accused involved in a national scam meet the Home Minister. The people had the right to know who arranged the meeting and other details. He doubted the silence of the Union Home Ministry which came to know of the racket a few years ago. Why did Mr. Advani not convene a meeting of top Intelligence officials and the police to deal with it then? The involvement of the politicians at the Centre and the officials of the Indian Security Press at Nashik in the racket could not be ruled out. Mr. Nanaiah said the racket, which spread to many States, had a politician-police-bureaucrat nexus. He said the State governments and the Centre should file an application before the Supreme Court to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation and the State-level investigative agencies such as the investigation team in Karnataka to submit reports to the court daily on the progress of the investigation, considering the national importance of the case. Such a step would infuse confidence among people.
Mr. Nanaiah said there could be a link to the racket with a similar fraud detected in Madikeri seven years ago. A man from Kerala was let off in that connection. He wanted clarifications from the Union Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh, who stated recently that "systemic failure" led to the scam.
He said the Krishna Government was dillydallying on the issue of handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation, and said the Home Minister, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, and Mr. Krishna had differences on the issue. Mr. Kharge favoured handing over the case to the central agency.
Mr. Nanaiah urged the Centre to announce the minimum support price for coffee. The Robusta variety should get Rs. 200 a kg. and Arabica variety Rs. 300 a kg.
He criticised the Defence Minister, George Fernandes, Mr. Singh, the former Union Minister, H.N. Ananth Kumar, and the State Government for failing to help the growers. The Centre was favouring only large industrial houses, he added.
Package for Kodagu
Mr. Nanaiah demanded that the State Government disclose the source of funds for the Rs. 107-crore economic package for Kodagu district announced by it recently.
Mr. Nanaiah told presspersons that even if Rs. one crore was spent under the package by 2004, it would be a big achievement. The Government had agreed to the package only in principle. The district in-charge Minister, M.M. Nanaiah, and the Minister of State for Muzrai, Suma Vasant, attended the meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, in this regard. The Chief Secretary, B.S. Patil, participated. He said the proposal was yet to be routed to the departments. For instance, a proposal involving drinking water supply (from Betri to Madikeri at a cost of Rs. 15 crore) should first go to the Finance Ministry, which in turn would refer it to the Urban Development Ministry. Afterwards, it would come up for Cabinet approval, sent to the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board, and finally to the Housing and Urban Development Corporation which would sanction funds.
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