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Jairam, Deo fix CM on bauxite

Jairam, Deo fix CM on bauxite
Highlights

Ask for 20-year moratorium on mining CM: State will abide by the lawA Deo: Mining unconstitutional in Agency Jairam: Mining brings Maoists ...

Ask for 20-year moratorium on mining
  • CM: State will abide by the lawA
  • Deo: Mining unconstitutional in Agency
  • Jairam: Mining brings Maoists
KMP Patnaik GK Veedhi (Visakhapatnam): Union Ministers Jairam Ramesh and Y Kishore Chandra Deo put Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy in a fix by asking for a 20-year moratorium on bauxite mining in the Agency areas and cancellation of the two MoUs the state government had signed with Jindal South West and another with Anrak. The demand was an embarrassment for the state tribal minister Balraju who had been advocating the mining for which he was targeted by the Maoists. Both the ministers came out against the mining at a public meeting here on Sunday where the Chief Minister launched ambitious projects for the welfare of the tribals. Reacting to the suggestions made by both the ministers, the Chief Minister said the state would not violate the state law or the Constitution while taking up any project. "Andhra Pradesh will not go against the Constitution just for mining bauxite,'' the Chief Minister said while giving an indication that he would abide by the ministers' suggestion. Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Y Kishore Chandra Deo had said on February 4 that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had convened a meeting in which he was present along with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanti Natarajan and Law Minister Ashwin Kumar. The meeting felt that the mining in Agency areas was against the Constitution. "Under Article 242, mining cannot be taken up in scheduled areas,'' Deo said, adding that even 1 of 70 Act prohibited mining by non-tribals that included the government. He said the two MoUs signed by the state government with the two multinational companies based on a resolution passed by the State Assembly had no validit y and hence liable for cancellation. The minister also categorically said he had no differences with state minister Balaraju over the mining issue. Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh asked the Chief Minister to declare a moratorium on bauxite mininig in Paderu. He said bauxite mining brought the Maoists closer to the tribals. "Wherever we have mining, we have Maoists,'' Jairam told the appaluding crowd. The minister suggested that the state focus more on the health and education of the tribals rather than controversial development projects. He said nowhere the tribals benefited from the mining. It is always the outsiders who reaped a rich harvest from the mines.
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