Andhra Pradeshgovernment on Monday ordered cancellation of agreement between AP mineral development corporation and Rakshana Steels on mining of iron ore in 1.41 lakh acres in Bayyaram forest region spread in Khammam and Warangal districts.
Rakshana Steels is believed to be a “benami” company of Christian evangelist Anil Kumar, son-in-law of former chief minister Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy, though his name does not figure anywhere in the company’s board of directors.
However, Anil Kumar issued a statement in the evening stating that he had nothing do with the company. “Rakshana Steels does not belong to me. My name is unnecessarily being dragged into controversy by rivals with a view to gain political mileage in the by-elections to be held on Tuesday,” he said.
Now, with the state government canceling the agreement with Rakshana Steels, the mining of iron ore in the Bayyaram forests has been completely stalled.
The deal with Rakshana Steels had turned highly controversial as opposition parties had alleged that the YSR government had favoured the company as his son-in-law had a stake in it. Though Anil had denied having any investments in Rakshna Steels, inquiries revealed that the promoters of the company are his close associates and are part of his evangelical mission.
The steel plant was to be established within five years from the date of obtaining all statutory clearances. However, the project ran into rough weather after the death of YSR and the opposition parties bringing pressure on the Congress government to cancel the deal.