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The opposition BJP called it the first scam of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government and disrupted both Houses over the issue in July when the legislature was in session.
It alleged that the CM illegally de-notified 541 acres acquired by the government as part of the Arkavathy project to provide subsidised residential plots. Siddaramaiah said that he was only following court orders in cancelling the land acquisition.
The BJP decided to seek newly appointed Karnataka governor VR Vala’s sanction to prosecute Siddaramaiah at a core committee meeting, hours before the former Gujarat Speaker took charge on Monday.
Former CM and national party vice-president BS Yeddyurappa told HT on Tuesday that he had constituted a team of senior party functionaries to collect more “incriminating” material.
“We will be fully prepared before we go to the governor,” he said.
Yeddyurappa’s role in taking the matter to the governor is significant since he faces 13 cases of illegal de-notification in court. When then governor HR Bharadwaj granted permission to prosecute the former CM in the land scam cases in January 2011, Yeddyurappa had called the governor a “Congress plant” and accused him of “murdering democracy”.
“Leaders from every party are involved in the scam,” said G Shivaparakash, president of the Arkavathy Layout Allottees Association, adding that over 5000 people were still awaiting plot allotments. Plans for the layout were announced in 2004 but only few have gotten allotments as politicians allotted plots to their supporters and kin. Large tracts of land were also de-notified to benefit the land mafia, Shivaprakash added.
BM Shivakumar, the RTI activist who exposed Yeddyurappa, said that the scandal had affected thousands of common people.
“But it has been reduced to a game of one-upmanship among parties, all of whom have benefited from the scam,” he said.