Land grab charges against Gowda family to be probed

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NEW DELHI/BANGALORE - Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Wednesday ordered a probe into allegations that former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president H.D. Deve Gowdas family had grabbed public land in Hassan district.

I have asked the deputy commissioner of Hassan to check if Gowda family had illegally taken over the lands, he told reporters during a visit to New Delhi to meet senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh.

If the charges are proved, the government will take over the lands, said Yeddyurappa, himself under attack for allegedly allocating prime lands in Bangalore and suburbs to his family.

Gowda and his two sons, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former minister H.D. Revanna, are accused of grabbing 82 acres of land in their home district of Hassan, about 180 km from Bangalore.

Kumaraswamy, however, denied the charges.

“If we have illegally occupied even an inch of land, let the government take over it immediately,” he said in New Delhi.

The charges against the Gowda family were levelled by Yeddyurappas political secretary B.J. Puttaswamy Tuesday, after which a group of JD-S workers attacked his residence in Bangalore. Police detained over 20 JD-S workers on Puttaswamy’s complaint.

Another Yeddyurappa loyalist, Food and Civil Supplies Minister V. Somanna Wednesday said the BJP would not be deterred by JD-S attacks and would continue to expose the Gowda clan.

Kumaraswamy is making baseless charges against Yeddyurappa. We will not sit quiet, Somanna told reporters in Bangalore.

“Hooliganism will not be tolerated,” BJP spokesperson S. Prakash added.

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