PANAJI: AICC general secretary in charge of Goa, Digvijaya Singh, on Thursday accusedLokSabha opposition leader, BJP’sSushmaSwaraj, of patronizing illegal mining in different parts of the country.

“I don’t know why Sushma Swaraj always patronizes illegal mining. She patronized the Reddy brothers in Bellary in Karnataka and now she has patronized the Chauhan brothers inMadhya Pradesh,” Singh said.

Stating that the sand mining mafia is operating in Madhya Pradesh, he said that during his tenure he had given the power to panchayats to auction sand mines at the gram panchayat and they were given right to collect and keep the royalty.

“As soon as BJP came to power they centralized it (auctioning) and have being allotting sand mines to their cronies,” Singh said.

He stated that a large illegal mine has been discovered in the constituency of Madya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, where his relatives were involved in illegal sand mining. He also said it so happened that the area falls under Swaraj’s parliamentary constituency.

Singh said when the local SDM levied the penalty of Rs 490 crore on the illegal miners, he was transferred within a month. “In spite of the court order the state government did not take action against sand mining,” Singh said.

Replaying to a question on the Durga Shakti Nagpal issue, Singh said there is no problem on this. The same sand mining mafia that existed during the government of the Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) continues now.

He also said that illegal sand mining is a new phenomenon which is taking place all over the country from Tamil Nadu to Uttar Pradesh and there are a number of states where illegal sand mining has become a source of corruption. “The nexus exist between contractor, bureaucracy and politicians which has led to this situation,” he said.