‘Stop Accusing that I Deal with Illegal Mining’–Lashes MLA Rajesh Naik at Ramanath Rai
‘Stop Accusing that I and My family Deal with Illegal Mining’– Lashes BJP MLA Rajesh Naik at former Congress Minister Ramanath Rai
Mangaluru : Tit-for-tat, in retaliation for the comments made by Congress Ex-Minister Ramanath Rai during a press meet that “large scale red bauxite mining has been going on in Dakshina Kannada district and culprits should be booked, and that the activity has the blessings of the ruling party MLA, where permit is for undertaking mining at Badaga Yedapadavu, whereas mining has been taking place at Mudipu, and scamsters from Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra and Tamil Nadu are hand in glove in this scandal,” Bantwal MLA Rajesh Naik during a press meet denied charges made by former Congress minister Ramanath Rai alleging that the MLA and his family is involved in illegal bauxite extraction.
Lashing out at Ramanath Rai and addressing the media persons during a press meet held at BJP Office, Rajesh Naik said, “I have been into laterite (bauxite) mining for nearly three decades all that is legal. For the past eight months, we stopped mining activities after the royalty saw an upward revision rendering the business unprofitable. There was no question of carrying out laterite mining in Mudipu by showing the permit of Edapadavu as there is not enough material available for mining in Edapadavu. And being frank, I don’t have any relative in Mudipu who is indulged in illegal bauxite extraction as alleged by Ramanath Rai. I only have a permit for such mining in Edapadavu “
Rajesh Naik and Ramanath Rai
“While Ramanath Rai is known to make unclear statements, and during last elections he had levelled murder charges against me which turned out to be fake. Now , without taking any one’s name, indirectly Rai has said that a sitting MLA in the ruling party and his kin has been indulged in illegal mining- and I know he was hinting at me. So I wanted to clarify the point at this meet. Rai’s allegations on me and my family are baseless and silly. But I do agree that an investigation has to be made against the illegal bauxite extraction, which will definitely benefit those who are undertaking their mining businesses legally. I too will support and demand for a probe into these illegal bauxite extractions being carried out.” added Naik.
MLA Naik also denied Ramanath Rai’s allegations that he was behind the transfer of Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner C Madan Mohan. “Four MLA’s had approached the chief minister to cancel the order and retain him in Mangaluru and I was one of them,” said Naik. Meanwhile, District BJP president Sudharshan said, “As far as I know there are no relatives of MLA Naik involved in illegal bauxite extraction in Mudipu, as per Ramanath Rai. Let Rai come up with documentary evidence to prove Rajesh Naik’s role in illegal mining, and we will then accept Rai’s allegation on Naik. But we have reliable information that Mangaluru MLA U T Khader and his close relatives are involved in a red bauxite company illegally.”
MLA Naik also said, “I think the state government should issue more permits for mining of laterite stones in DK , so that it will curb illegal mining, besides bringing a lot of revenue to the government. While there are just over a dozen permits issued for laterite mining in DK, the number of illegal mining is over 1000. The demand for laterite soil shot up in the past three years after cement factories in Kalyana Karnataka region started using it as a raw material in cement manufacturing. The royalty and tax which was Rs 92 per tonne was increased to Rs 262. A tonne of laterite soil costs Rs 600, so Rs 262 was a huge amount and rendered the business unprofitable”