No mining concession given to CM’s wife, says MP government

Bhopal (IANS) The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday termed “baseless” the allegation by the opposition Congress that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan misused his position to allot a manganese deposit in Balaghat district to a company headed by his wife.

The government said neither Chouhan nor his wife Sadhna Singh had any company.

On Wednesday, Congress’ state unit spokesman K.K. Mishra said that despite rules, the chief minister in 2007 allotted a 17.9 acre area near Paunia village to SS Minerals, whose proprietor is mentioned as S.S. Singh, wife of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on a 10-year-lease.

Mishra said that despite the conditions, no processing unit has come up at the site, while other conditions had been flouted, and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry.

Noting that the site was in a reserved forest area and earmarked for central government concern, he said Chouhan had held the charge of mines and minerals when the allotment was made.

Refuting the allegations, state Higher Education Minister Umashankar Gupta said according to the mining leases made between 1991 and 2014 in Balaghat, there was no manganese deposit in the village cited by the Congress.

He said the allotment number the opposition party quoted was actually in Jagantola and allotted to Leela Bhalavi, whose son Ashok Uike was now in charge.

He said no allotment was made to SS Minerals in Balaghat but declined to answer if there was actually such a company. He also said neither Chouhan nor his wife had any company.

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