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SHIMOGA: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday expressed satisfaction that his decision to ban export of iron ore had been vindicated by the Centre.
Addressing presspersons, he said that it was gratifying to note that Union Minister for Steel Virbhadra Singh, addressing a gathering in Bellary on Saturday, commended the State Government's stand on stopping iron ore export. He said that the Union Minister asserted that the State Government was within its powers to impose the ban. Mr. Yeddyurappa said even the High Court had appreciated the stand taken by him as far the banning of the export of the iron ore was concerned.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said that his suggestion for a total ban on exporting iron ore at the recently held National Development Council meeting in Delhi was well received.
He reacted sharply when his attention was drawn to the reported remark by the Minister for Tourism G. Janardhan Reddy that nearly five lakh workers would be rendered jobless if mining activities were stopped. He said that the illegal mining could not be allowed to go on unchecked just because their closure would render the workers jobless. “There is a scope for finding alternative jobs for the workers if rendered jobless”.
In a veiled attack on Mr. Reddy, the Chief Minister asked: “What have the mine owners done for the welfare of the workers in the last 20 years, while they amassed crores of rupees out of it?”
Referring to the padayatra of the Congress demanding CBI probe into the “illegal” mining, Mr. Yeddyurappa said their ulterior motive was to create law and order problems to discredit the State Government. He said that the people were watching the “indecent” and “uncultured” language being used against him by the leaders of that party.
He said that he had not given permission for mining of iron ore and its export since he assumed office. He alleged that 90 per cent of the miner owners were supporters of the Congress.
Hassan Staff Correspondent reports:
Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister had responded positively the his proposal to ban export of iron ore and looting of mineral wealth in the country, and promised to bring the proposed policy before Parliament session.
He said the Congress padayatra from Bangalore to Bellary was only to hoodwink the people and to deviate the attention of people besides getting political mileage.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said that instructions are given to NAFED to purchase copra at support price of Rs. 5,300 a quintal.
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