BJP Karnataka unit president B S Yeddyurappa today sought 10 more days to appear before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in connection with an alleged illegal land de-notification case. The former chief minister had been asked to appear before the bureau today for questioning in the case of de- notification of over 257 acres in Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout in northern Bengaluru. The ACB had registered the case based on a complaint filed by a member of social organisation Jana Samanya Vedike.
Yeddyurappa requested the ACB to provide him 10 more days to gather all facts. Pointing out that there was a gap of only two days between the date of issuing the summons and the date of appearance, Yeddyurappa said that upon his request he was furnished the copies of the complaint and the FIR, along with the preliminary inquiry report, yesterday. He said in the preliminary inquiry report several documents have been mentioned but none of these has been furnished to him.
“I am making efforts to get all the necessary details regarding the above mentioned case from various government departments under the RTI Act. I, therefore, request you to provide me 10 days’ time to gather all facts and appear before you so that I will be in a position to answer all questions that may arise in connection with the investigation of the above case,” he wrote to the bureau.
Sources close to Yeddyurappa said he would also move the high court seeking quashing of the case.
The BJP and Yeddyurappa have alleged that the ACB is being used by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state to target the party in retaliation for the recent Income Tax department raids on Energy Minister D K Shivakumar. Yeddyurappa has been accused of de-notifying 257 acres of land from the preliminary notification of 3,546 acres meant for the formation of Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout bypassing the de-notified committee approval, when he was the chief minister.
Rejecting the BJP’s allegation of the government using the ACB against the party leaders, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said every one is equal before the law. “Can anyone purposefully file an FIR? There are courts…based on the CAG report a complaint was given, based on the complaint they (officials) have investigated and have filed an FIR. Everyone has to abide by law,” he told reporters in Tumkuru. “Is there anyone above the law? Everybody is equal before the law, whether it is Yeddyurappa or anyone else,” he added.
Hitting back at Yeddyurappa for threatening to put him behind bars when the BJP comes to power, Siddaramaiah said he was making such statements out of “frustration” as FIRs have been registered against him. “He has gone to jail and come, so same feeling is still troubling him. He doesn’t have basic knowledge. How can Yeddyurappa put someone into jail? Does he have anything (proof)?” he questioned.
Siddaramaiah said all these had started after BJP president Amit Shah chided party leaders for being inactive and told them that the party would lose in the Assembly polls, during his three-day visit to the state. At a party rally here yesterday, Yeddyurappa had vowed to put Siddaramaiah behind bars by exposing scams, once the BJP came to power in the state.