New Delhi: The role of the Reddy brothers in illegal mining is finally heading for a probe.
A cautious Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa first gave a clean chit to the Reddys. "Nowhere are they responsible for this illegal mining," said Yeddyurappa.
But within minutes, he hinted that if he can’t sack them from the Cabinet he cannot shield them any longer. "I will write to the Lokayukta on Monday and ask him to probe the issues between 2002 and 2010," said the Karnataka Chief Minister.
Since the mining row is hurting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) image, top leaders have cleared the probe.
Lokayukta Santosh Hegde is known to act tough against corruption, which means the Reddys may find themselves in a minefield as the Lokayukta can summon officials, even those close to the Reddys.
There’s more bad news for the mining barons.
The Centre will discuss banning iron ore exports from next week. This after Yeddyurappa’s appeal to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Centre’s alibi to discuss ore exports is saving national resources for the future. But there’s a political twist.
The Congress says the Reddys are destablising its government in Andhra Pradesh. Even a threat to ban may push the Reddys further against the wall. Visibly worried - the Reddys rushed to Delhi, met the Chief Minister, and blamed the Congress.
"It’s a Congress conspiracy. We are BJP men, we will fight it together," said Karnataka’s Tourism Minister J Janardhan Reddy.
While L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley want the Reddys to quit till a probe clears them, a section led by Anant Kumar and Sushma Swaraj says the Reddys should remain in the Cabinet as they are a political asset.
For the last six years of UPA rule, the BJP has been speaking against the continuation of ministers facing corruption charges. The Opposition has taken a leaf out of the BJP’s book and is asking why the Reddys should be in the Cabinet.
This is not the beginning of a beautiful friendship: Madhuri, an Indian elephant, swings a monitor lizard about by its tail at a park in India
It might have been a bumpy ride for the tiny creature - but Madhuri certainly looked delighted with her new ’toy’.
These extraordinary shots were taken by Jagdeep Rajput during a trip to Corbett National Park, in India.
The 49-year-old, from Delhi, has been taking photographs for 20 years but admitted he had never before seen such a bizarre spectacle.
He said: ’I had heard about this elephant before and looked out for her.