Illegal iron ore export scam: CBI failed, so we needed SIT, says Siddaramaiah

Mysuru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday denied state BJP chief, B S Yeddyurappa's allegations that the government had decided to reopen the investigation into the illegal iron ore export scam with an eye on the coming elections although the CBI  had decided to close it.

"There cannot be political reasons for everything. Should we throw the Lokayukta report (on illegal mining) into the dustbin? We formed a cabinet subcommittee led by Minister H K Patil, which found that the CBI had not investigated these cases properly and so we decided to refer them to the SIT," he said, adding caustically,  "Earlier BJP leaders called the CBI the Chor Bachao Institution and  did not want to hand over a single case to it.  Now they have all the trust in it."

Asked if he did not trust the CBI, he said, "We can trust any investigation agency if it acts the way it is meant to."  

Evasive when asked about the priorities for the coming state Budget  Mr Siddaramaiah said,  " I cannot comment on this here.  The Budget will take shape after discussions with various departments." He was speaking to reporters  at the Suttur helipad in Mysuru district.

Meanwhile, Mr Patil, who was also present, maintained the state had no choice but to hand over the illegal iron ore export scam to the  SIT as the CBI was not allowed to investigate it by the BJP government at the Centre.

The CBI had closed its investigation into the illegal export of iron ore from  New Mangaluru Port, and Karwar, Panaji and Marmagoa claiming  lack of evidence.

Religion is all about being humane, says Siddaramiaah in Mysuru 
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday hit out at his critics,  who accused him of indulging in soft Hindutva to win over voters, contending there was nothing  soft or hard about being humane. " I believe that being true to oneself and being humane is religion. Basavanna propounded that kindness and compassion were the basis of dharma. There has to be love among people and harmony in  society. But that love is being replaced by hatred by some. People must be cautious about such elements. There has to be dharma in politics based on humaneness. But dharma cannot be used for politics. No dharma has anything against humanity," he said. Mr Siddaramaiah,  who was addressing the valedictory event of the Suttur Jaathra Mahotsava of the Suttur Math, added, " When  our state anthem clearly says our land is sarvajanaangada shaanthiya thota (peaceful home for all religions) and we sing it at the start of programmes,  how can some behave in a manner that  goes against its spirit?"    The CM went on, "I believe in God, in ekadevopasane (one God in many forms) and in Basavanna's saying, enna kale kamba dehave degula shirave (God in one's own self). I go to temples, but I don't go in search of God to faraway places.”

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