BJP claims Gowda family grabbed 82 acres of grazing land

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BANGALORE - The family of former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president H.D. Deve Gowda has illegally grabbed 82 acres of land in their home district Hassan, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader claimed here Tuesday.

The land was set apart as grazing field for cattle in Hassan, about 180 km from here, B.J. Puttaswamy, political secretary to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, told reporters here.

“The grabbed land includes part of a tank,” Puttaswamy, who was earlier in the Janata Party and later with the Congress, said and released documents to back his charge.

He said Gowda and his two sons - former chief minister and JD-S state president H. D. Kumaraswamy, and former minister H. D. Revanna - had no moral right to question others over land deals.

Puttaswamy’s attack on the Gowda family follows release of advertisements in some dailies in Bangalore and New Delhi by the BJP’s Mysore city unit giving details of land deals of the family.

The BJP advertisement, carried by some papers in Bangalore Monday and a few in New Delhi Tuesday, says Gowda, as public works department minister in 1984, had allotted 20 residential sites to his family members, including minors.

Besides Kumaraswamy, the list includes the names of Gowda’s daughter, his brother, his another son’s sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and mother-in-law.

It also gives details of land denotified in Mysore by Kumaraswamy when he was chief minister in 2006-07. The advertisement claims that Kumaraswamy had denotified 153 acres worth Rs. 450 crore.

The ad campaign is a counter offensive launched by Yeddyurappa, who is under attack for allegedly favouring his close kin with prime land allotment in Banglaore and suburbs.

Yeddyurappa last week threatened, after he got a breather to stay on in power from the party central leadership, that he would spend his own and the party’s money to release advertisements on the Gowda clan’s land grab in the state.

Kumaraswamy took the lead in releasing documents showing Yeddyurappa allotted prime residential and commercial land to his sons, daughter, son-in-law and other relatives.

Yeddyurappa has been accused of ‘denotifying’, freeing from government control, large tracts of land which were bought at low prices by people who invested money in his sons’ business ventures.

After the scandal became public, the chief minister made his kin surrender the lands.

Kumaraswamy termed Puttaswamy’s charges “baseless”. “If we have grabbed the land as alleged, then the government is free to take it over,” he said.

On the advertisement campaign, Kumaraswamy said he would write to owners and editors of dailies which carry them to find out whether it was proper for them to publish them without verifying the contents.

He said he would not file defamation case against the dailies but would want them to consider if it was journalistic ethics to carry such advertisements.

Filed under: Politics

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