Kin surrender land, Yeddyurappa may retain chairBy IANS
Friday, November 19, 2010
HUBLI/NEW DELHI - Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s kin Friday surrendered land allegedly allotted to them in violation of law, an act that may ward off an immediate threat to his chair.
Yeddyurappa himself announced in Hubli in north Karnataka that his kin have given up the land while state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief K.S. Eshwarappa said in Delhi the issue of leadership change in Karnataka does not arise.
Jagadish Shettar, panchayati raj minister and a possible contender for the chief minister’s post, also told reporters in Bangalore that “no one has raised or is discussing leadership change”. He will attend the Delhi meeting.
The land surrender was preceded by the state cabinet Thursday approving a probe by a retired judge of the Supreme Court of all land deals, mainly in and around Bangalore, in the last 10 years. The name of the judge and terms of reference are to be announced shortly.
Eshwarappa reached Delhi Friday morning to attend a meeting of the party’s central leaders late Friday to decide steps to ensure the Karnataka land scam does not derail the party’s strident campaign against alleged corruption in the Congress-led central government.
Yeddyurappa and several other state leaders have also been summoned for the meeting. The chief minister is expected to reach Delhi late Friday.
Among the land surrendered is a 4,000 sq ft residential plot in Bangalore’s upscale Raja Mahal Vilas Extension locality allotted to Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra, a BJP Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, the chief minister’s home district.
Of all the land allotments, this one had caused major embarrassment to Yeddyurappa and the BJP as Raghavendra had filed a “false” affidavit saying he had no residential property in Bangalore while owning one.
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) plot was allotted by the chief minister under his discretionary ‘G’ category quota. Under this quota only people who have achieved eminence in their field but do not own residential property can be allotted a plot.
Raghavendra and his brother B.Y. Vijeyendra also surrendered a two acre prime industrial plot at Jigani Industrial Estate on Bangalore’s outskirts. The plot was allotted to them when Yeddyurappa was deputy chief minister in 2007.
Their sister Umadevi also gave up two acres of industrial land allotted to her near Harohalli, Bangalore outskirts. This was given to her after Yeddyurappa became chief minister in May 2008.
The plots have been given back to the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB), the government agency which acquires land for industrial and other purposes.
Yeddyurappa’s sister and her son and daughter-in-law have also surrendered two residential plots given to them in the middle class area of Chandra Layout in Bangalore west.
The chief minister has however rubbished charges that he has denotified (freed from government control) huge tracts of land in Bangalore and Shimoga to benefit people who have invested money in the several business ventures of his two sons.