Karnataka minister resigns over charges of flouting rules

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SummaryK'taka CM Gowda did not accept Kumar’s resignation, saying he had not committed any wrong.

A senior minister in the first BJP government in Karnataka, S Suresh Kumar, who is believed to be an upright politician, resigned on Saturday over allegations that he hid facts about his ownership of a property while availing a government quota residential site in Bangalore.

Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda did not accept Kumar’s resignation, saying he had not committed any wrong.

A close associate of the CM, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar denied suppressing any facts about property ownership by his family while availing a government quota residential site.

“I have resigned to save the party and the government from embarrassment,” Kumar said on Saturday after local media reports attributed to an RTI disclosure alleged that the minister “known for his integrity” had flouted rules for personal gain. He said he was willing to face any form of investigation regarding any alleged wrongdoing.

Kumar, who also handles the portfolio of urban development outside of Bangalore, is alleged to have not disclosed his ownership of two residential sites in Bangalore while availing a third under a government quota — G-category — that is under the discretion of the CM.

He said the controversial 4,000 square feet property was bought from the Bangalore Development Authority by his family after selling two existing land outside Bangalore and a third in the city, making the acquisition of the new property legal.

“I have not done anything illegal. I have not added any false information in the affidavit to the BDA. I don’t think I have done anything wrong, the information provided at the time of applying for the G-category site is true,” he said.

Gowda said efforts were on persuade Kumar to withdraw his resignation. “I will not accept the resignation immediately. Only after detailed consideration and only if there is any wrongdoing that I will accept (the resignation),” he said.

Kumar is a three-time MLA and is popular for his easy accessibility to people — he used to ride around Bangalore on a two-wheeler until he became a minister four years ago.

Whenever the BJP government has plunged into controversy over leadership issues in the last four years, the 60-year-old’s name has hovered in the background as a possible neutral candidate.

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