From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Feb 27: Stoutly denying corruption allegations levelled against him by his political opponents, Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani challenged that he would quit even if it was proved that he had taken a bribe of Rs 10.
“I am an industrialist. I don’t depend on politics to make a living. My companies are doing business transactions of Rs 5,000 crore and provide jobs to thousands of people,’’ Nirani said while addressing the media in Koppal district after holding a review meeting with his department officials on Saturday.
Nirani said he would quit immediately if anybody were to prove that he had accepted a bribe of Rs 10.
The Minister contended that the work of his MRN Foundation is known to all people and the companies of the group employ 75,000 people. “I am an industrialist and am not in a pathetic condition to demand Rs 5 or Rs 10 lakh bribes,’’ he asserted.
At the same time, Nirani made it clear that he would never tolerate corruption by anybody in his department and would not hesitate to take stringent action if any specific complaints with credible evidence is brought to his notice. He declared that he would also take tough action against anyone misusing his name and asked the public to directly lodge complaint against such persons.
The Minister asked the mines and quarry owners to return explosives in their possession within three days and warned that the State Government would stern action against anybody found misusing the explosives for unlawful activities.
“Permission for purchasing and using explosives is compulsory. All unlawful use of explosives will be dealt with sternly,’’ he said declaring that the State Government has directed officials to keep a close watch over all mines and quarry owners.
The State Government has decided to act tough against the mines and quarry owners for misusing the permissions for use explosives after the blasts in Shivamogga and Gudibande.
The Mines and Geology Department has decided to offer a week-long special training for mines and quarry owners and their staff on the use of explosives.
The Minister visited the BJP office in Koppal district. MLAs Basavaraj Dadesuguru, Paranna Manavalli and Zilla Panchayat President Rajashekar Hitnal accompanied him.
Addressing the media after visiting the Koppal party office, the Minister said the entire Veerashaiva-Lingayat community must get the benefits of reservation in jobs and education. The minor communities need special protection, he said expressing confidence that Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will protect the interests of all communities.
He mentioned that there were smaller communities like Kumbaras and Hadapads, which need social justice. As the smaller communities among the Veerashaiva-Lingayats were unable to assert their rights, it is necessary that the entire community must be included in the 2A groups among the backward classes.
The Chief Minister has already written to the Backward Classes Commission and the Centre demanding that the Panchamasali community must be included in the 2A group. The Commission being a statutory body will take an appropriate decision after conducting suitable surveys to assess the situation.
“All of us united in the demand for justice for the Panchamasali group,’’ he said pointing out that former MLA Vijay Kashappanavar was a national leader and it was up to him to fight for justice. “We on our part, are taking whatever we can at the government level,’’ he said wondering why Kashappanavar and party MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal had not taken any action in the past.