Attempting to turn the tables on his accusers, Karnataka tourism minister G Janardhan Reddy on Monday said his Obulapuram Mining Corp is not indulging in any illegal mining, and accused governor H R Bhardwaj of overstepping his constitutional limits by accusing him and his brother, revenue minister Karunakara Reddy, of illegal activities.
''The Governor has exceeded his limits in making false and baseless allegations against us. Let him provide one piece of evidence that we are into illegal mining. I am ready to resign without any enquiry,'' Reddy said.
Reddy, clad in a designer sweater instead of his usual blue shirt, appeared at ease throughout the two-and- a-half-hour marathon press conference which he called in Bangalore.
Claiming that all their money was hard earned, he said that in the mining business, the Reddy brothers' name was as good as gold. ''We are like gold. You can say even more than that,'' Reddy, who claims to be the country's second biggest miner after the state owned National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC), said.
The tourism minister, who is also the minister in charge of mineral-rich Bellary district, said that the governor's statement in New Delhi that he was a proud Congressman proved that he was a Congress agent.
''Being a governor, how can he say this? His conduct has already come under sharp criticism by intellectuals and the media. Bharadwaj should understand this and stay within his limits and uphold the dignity of his office,'' Reddy said.