| Naveen: Furious
Bhubaneswar, Nov. 17: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing his resentment at not taking the mineral-bearing states into confidence before placing the draft national mineral policy for cabinet approval.
The draft policy had been placed before the Union cabinet for its approval at its recent meeting on Thursday but the decision on the matter had been deferred, sources here said.
Naveen has also written to his counterparts in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh drawing their attention towards the matter, sources in the chief ministerís office said.
Terming the act of the Union government unfortunate, Naveen lamented in his letter that the Centre ignored the genuine demands of the mineral-bearing states even as the chief ministers of Karnataka, Chhattisgrah, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Orissa had presented a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister in this regard.
Centreís such apathy violates the spirit of federal system as the economy of the mentioned states is feared to be affected by the new mineral policy, he said.
While most of the central ministries take the states concerned into confidence while taking any on-the-principle decision, the stand of the mines ministry has aroused suspicion in the public mind, a peeved Naveen said.
Last month, Naveen had urged the Prime Minister to hold parleys with the chief ministers of all the mineral- bearing states before finalising the national mineral policy.
The chief ministers of the five states had also met the Union home minister, Shivraj Patil, on August 6 and submitted a joint memorandum requesting that the recommendations of the group of ministers on export of minerals and draft mineral policy should be discussed with them.
Earlier, on December 30 last year, the chief ministers of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa and the representatives of Rajasthan and Karnataka governments had met the Prime Minister and presented him a joint memorandum.
Despite all these requests, the Centre has not yet taken any step in this regard, rued the chief minister while urging the Prime Minister to discuss the issue with the mineral producing states before taking a final decision on the national mineral policy.