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Yeddyurappa to set up panel to probe land deals

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa today declared that he would set up an inquiry commission headed by a former Supreme Court judge to investigate land deals across the state, especially in and around Bangalore, over the past 10 years.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2010 21:55 IST

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Monday declared that he would set up an inquiry commission headed by a former Supreme Court judge to investigate land deals across the state, especially in and around Bangalore, over the past 10 years.

"I have decided to set up an inquiry commission headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court to go into the allotment of sites and de-notification of land under special circumstances during various regimes in the past 10 years, including our government since May 2008," said Yeddyurappa, facing allegations of irregularities in allotment of land to his sons.

Denying any wrong doing or violation of law in allotting prime land in and around Bangalore to his two sons BY Vijeyendra and BY Raghavendra, the chief minister said two acres of prime industrial plot at Jigani on the city's outskirts was given in 2007 to Fluid Power Technologies Ltd, in which his two sons were directors.

"Two acres of land in Jigani industrial area was allotted to the company as per norms to expand its business. Though the three-year-old company paid the land cost to the KIADB (Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board), the plot had not yet been given due to a dispute between land owners and the board," Yeddyurappa said.

Yeddyurappa was then the deputy chief minister in the 20-month-old coalition government (2006-07) headed by Janata Dal-Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy, who is a Lok Sabha member from Ramanagara since May 2009.

Raghavendra is also a Lok Sabha member from Shiomga, the home district of Yeddyurappa.

Refuting charges by opposition leaders against him and his family members in the media on various land deals during the 30-month-old first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, Yeddyurappa said no regulation was violated for allotting a 4,000 square feet residential site in Bangalore to Raghavendra under the chief minister's discretionary quota.

"Several other lawmakers, including MPs and the state legislators, were allotted residential sites developed by the state-run Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) under the discretionary quota (G category)," he said.

Sharing facts and figures pertaining to the BDA allotments over the last two decades, Yeddyurappa said 149 sites were sanctioned during 1996-99 by then chief minister JH Patel, 334 sites during then Congress government headed by current External Affairs Minister SM Krishna (1999-2004), 76 sites in 2004-2006 under then chief minister Dharam Singh, 288 sites during Kumaraswamy's 20-month government, and 136 sites under his tenure.

"Allotment of sites to sitting and former lawmakers and achievers in various fields under the 'G' category has been in practice over the years and during all regimes. Raghavendra was allotted a site under the MP quota, which is no violation of any rule," Yeddyurappa said.

Singh allotted sites to his daughter and relatives, while Kumaraswamy sanctioned 30 adjacent sites in a Mysore to his family members and relatives when he was the chief minister from February 2006 to October 2007.

Accusing the opposition leaders of misleading the people and tarnishing his image to cover up their irregularities, the chief minister said the allegations were baseless and trivial as their efforts to destabilise his government miserably failed last month.

"The intention of the opposition leaders is very clear. They are indulging in false propaganda because they are unable to digest the popularity of my government, implementation of various welfare schemes and development programmes," he said.

"Having failed to bring down the BJP government, they are looking for new issues," Yeddyurappa added.

First Published: Nov 15, 2010 21:53 IST