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India’s illegal iron ore mining scandal grows, could bring down state government

Indian Express reports Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, currently holidaying in Mauritius, is among a slew of politicians, many of them from the BJP party, set to be named in a damning 8,000-page report on the illegal plunder of the Indian state’s iron ore resources over a decade.

The report from the Lokayukta, an anti-corruption ombudsman organization, may lead to so called President’s rule in Karnataka when a state legislature is dissolved or suspended and the state is placed under direct federal governance and is proving to be a huge embarrassment to the BJP leadership.

The Times of India reports Karnataka governor H R Bhardwaj on Sunday said he would send a report to President Pratibha Patil once the Lokayukta’s report on mining scam, that has indicted chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, “comes on record”.

See video below for latest footage on the scandal from news broadcaster Times Now:

The Hindu reports in a statement that may cause further embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party, its national vice-president Shanta Kumar on Sunday said he had informed the party high command about the happenings in Karnataka when he was the party in-charge of the State, but his complaints were not taken seriously.

The Indian Express reports according to investigations based on data from the customs and mines departments, the Lokayukta has found that as much as 694,000 metric tonnes of iron ore worth $40 million was illegally exported between April 2009 and March 2010 from the Belikeri port alone by a company called ILC Industries. This company has been named as a front company for the BJP’s Bellary leadership.