Hyderabad: The role of the Gali brothers and former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and his son YS Jaganmohan Mohan Reddy has come in to sharp focus as a political crisis in neighbouring Karnataka state is set to take its toll on the incumbent Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa.
One of the main reasons behind the present political crisis in Karnataka, the illegal mining operations, has also taken a heavy toll, rather unprecedented, on the state’s treasury.
The same mining mafia, which is responsible for the events in Karnataka, are active in Anantapur district, thus causing huge losses to the Andhra Pradesh treasury.
Officials are of the opinion that the state suffered the ‘income’ loss of thousands of crores of rupees due to the illegal mining operations.
Former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had adopted an interesting rationale to claim a pro-poor image introducing scores of welfare schemes while giving rise to mining mafia who came to Andhra Pradesh (Anantapur district) from Karnataka and made a ‘loot’ out of mining the iron ore and effected exports of the ore.
As Karnataka had banned the said exports they (Gali brothers, both are Ministers in the Karnataka government) found it convenient to make a fast buck here.
The YSR regime granted them lease and licenses to have a free hand in the entire murky deal at the cost of tax payer.
Neither the state nor the Central governments had the capacity to stop the operations. Only the Apex Court could put an end to it.
Earlier, despite its best efforts, the TDP government led by Nara Chandrababu Naidu was not successful in breaking the hegemony of the mining mafia.
Former chief minister K Rosaiah is said to have cancelled only their licenses following exposure of illegal mining of iron ore by the Obulapuram Mining Company (OBC), owned by Gali Karunakara Reddy and Gali Janardhan Reddy.
Mr Rosaiah was rather emboldened to take the initiative after the Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court, in its report of November 19, 2009 indicted the OBC for illegal mining operations over and above the actual mining lease of 547.62 acres.
Prior to Mr Rosaiah, no attempt was made to unearth the irregularities in the mining operations in Anantapur district (on borders with Karnataka) by the Gali brothers who had alleged links with YSR Congress Party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.
Allegations abounded that the mining mafia ruled the roost in Andhra Pradesh with the connivance of former Dr YSR.
According to sources, Gali Janardhan Reddy had sneaked into the mining industry as an assistant to Dr YSR’s father Raja Reddy, who owned Barytes Mines in Mangampeta in Kadapa district.
Though the lease ended in 2006, the YSR regime extended the license for another 20 years, says V Hanumanth Rao, Congress MP who was dead against the said illegal mining.
Dr YSR also sanctioned another 68.52 acres for 20 years on November 18, 2007.
YSR government’s cover-up version was that the iron ore would be supplied to the Brahmani Steels set up by Mr Janardhan Reddy. Ironically, the company is yet to be commissioned, and the iron ore was exported to south east countries.
The Brahmani Steels company was given over 5000 acres in the district and a private air field was also under study.
Interestingly, Kadapa district has also identified as a major uranium ore deposit centre and the Uranium Corporation of India had taken up exploration and also plans to set up an Ultra power project.
What is of interest is that this had not attracted the attention of the Gali brothers.(INN)