Mangaluru: District Minister in-charge, Ramanth Rai held a press meet at the district Congress Office here, on February 16.
Addressing the mediapersons Rai said, “Sand should be available to the general public in simple procedures. Sand mining should be followed as prescribed by the legal system. Besides, the locals should get the sand for lower price. I have been submitting reports on removal of sand from rivers in CRZ to the district administration from many years which was quite a difficult task. We have got a positive response from the central government and the sand mining issue will be sorted out very soon.
The administration was trying to balance both interests and requirement of sand as well as protection of environment. However few BJP leaders have alleged that I have been involved in sand mafia, the allegations are baseless and don’t make any sense. I can claim this confidently that I have not been involved in any kind of ‘odd’ businesses.”
He further said, “Having said that five persons were remanded to Judicial custody in the double-murder that took place in the jail premises. One of the suspects was Kamalaksha Poojary who was a BJP party worker. Before pointing fingers at us they should see if their own conscience is clear. The state government has already done away with forms of 9 and 11 which are related to land purchase, sale and conversion. Yesterday BJP leader Krishna J Palemar had alleged that the Congress had withdrawn the process on temporary basis. I would like to say that we have indeed withdrawn it from four districts. So the question does not arise on earning credibility in upcoming polls.”
“Congress party aims at securing a majority in ZP seats and TP seats. In this election we have direct competition with BJP,” he added.
When asked if he was involved in the transfer of Inspector Pramod, Rai said, “This is a false accusation. I have never exerted any pressure to get Inspector Pramod Kumar transferred. I am a Forest Minister and I am doing my part of work.”