Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday termed as an eyewash the Odisha government’s action against 103 miners for alleged illegal mining, and has demanded a CBI probe into it.
BJP state unit spokesperson Ashok Sahu said the government’s move was intended to cover the “misdeeds of the mining companies” and that only a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation could bring out the truth.
Sahu said the state government has not taken steps to stop mining activities. “It has not seized the machineries used by the companies to extract ores,” he told reporters at a press conference here.
“Let the government cancel the mining leases of these companies who were indulging in illegal mining,” Sahu said. “The government action is an eyewash because it allowed the companies to operate,” he added.
The BJP spokesperson said that the Congress-led central government was also involved in looting minerals from the state.
In the last two months, Odisha has served showcause notices on 103 state mines, mostly of iron ore, for extracting ore in excess of their stipulated limits in the last 10 years.
The state government asked the miners as to why they should not pay the cost of the excess iron ore mined and slapped a penalty of around Rs.68,000 crore on 103 mining firms.
The Congress, which is Odhisha’s main opposition party, has also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged illegal mining in the state.
The party said that by imposing the fine on miners, the state government has admitted to its own involvement in the “loot of minerals” in the state.