The Congress on Wednesday accused the Narendra Modi government of shielding Karnataka's Reddy brothers through "CBI-manufactured clean chit" in the illegal mining scam, alleging that the "mockery of justice" took place after B.S. Yeddyurappa was declared BJP's chief ministerial candidate in the state.
Talking to reporters here, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said the "scam was established" by the then Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, but still the BJP had given several tickets to "Reddy Brothers and their associates" for the May 12 assembly polls.
He said that Congress government in Karnataka had pre-empted the "manufactured clean chit" to the Reddy brothers by refusing to accept the closure by CBI on March 19 this year and had ordered an intensified probe through Special Investigation Team.
"Shockingly, Modi Government has now become the benefactor, protector, defender of the 'Bellary Gang' responsible for denuding Kannadigas of their rich natural resources through a puppet CBI," Shukla asked.
He said the Congress government asked the CBI on November 18, 2013 to probe into the "brazen loot of iron-ore and siphoning off Rs 35,000 crore by sale and export of iron ore" through nine sea ports in Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
After BJP chief Amit Shah declared Yeddyurappa the party's chief ministerial face on May 27 last year, it is "no wonder that the process to shut down all cases by CBI in a surreptitious manner was set in motion immediately," Shukla said.
He said that in June last year, CBI wrote to Karnataka government justifying closure of case for the two Goa ports, "principally on the flimsy and preposterous ground that iron-ore of Goa and Karnataka having been mixed together cannot be identified".
"This must be the most fanciful and imaginative explanation to close an FIR ever given by any investigating agency in the world," he said, adding the CBI closed the illegal mining case for two ports in Karnataka and two ports in Tamil Nadu in November last year.
He said Modi and Shah had given eight tickets to "Reddy Brothers and associates" including Somashekhar Reddy and Karunakar Reddy.
"People are saying that under Modi-Shah duo, â€˜Republic of Bellary' is back," he said, questioning why the Modi government is covering the mining scam by shutting down cases.