Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa in 2009 may have illegally cancelled the government acquisition of a prime piece of land to benefit the relatives of his predecessor, barely two years after the leaders had a bitter public falling-out, official documents show.
After he replaced HD Kumaraswamy as chief minister, Yeddyurappa allegedly denotified the 1979 procurement of over an acre of land by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Kumaraswamy’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law directly gained from this.
Based on the documents submitted by RTI activist Jaykumar Hiremath, the state lokayukta anti-corruption police registered an FIR on Wednesday against BJP national vice-president Yeddyurappa, JD (S) state chief Kumaraswamy, his two relatives as well as several government officials.
“A prima facie case has been made out,” a lokayukta official told HT, adding that the FIR was registered after the documents submitted by Hiremath were found to be authentic.
The dossier shows that in February 2007, about 28 years after the BDA took possession of the land, a man named Rajashekhariah approached then CM Kumaraswamy, claiming to be the original owner of the property.
In an application the same month, Rajashekharaiah requested that the land titles be restored in his name and said the plot was still in his possession.
The revenue department said this was not possible and before Kumaraswamy could push the matter further, Yeddyurappa and the BJP brought an end to his tenure by withdrawing support to the government.
The BJP’s walkout was not lacking in drama with Yeddyurappa bursting into tears several times and calling Kumaraswamy a “liar” for not honouring his promise of handing over power to the BJP after 20 months as per the terms of the coalition agreement.
However, two years after he became chief minister, Yeddyurappa allegedly denotified the land as requested by Rajashekharaiah.
As soon as the order was passed, Rajashekharaiah vanished from the scene and Kumaraswamy's mother-in-law Vimala surfaced with a general power of attorney over the land. She quickly sold the plot— worth about Rs 50 crore today— to her son, TS Chanappa.
This is not the first illegal denotification case against the leaders. In fact, after facing accusation in a similar scam, Yeddyurappa was forced to resign as chief minister and spend 23 days in jail in 2011.
The two leaders could not be reached for comment.