Yeddys kin offer to give back plots

Written by Political Bureau | Bangalore | Updated: Nov 20 2010, 07:00am hrs
Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, facing allegations of nepotism and corruption over more than a dozen land deals, attempted to hang onto his seat on Friday by getting his family members to write to different government agencies offering to return land allocated to them since the BJP came to power in the state.

Yeddyurappa, however, remained silent on the course of action on gains made by his sons and son-in-law for denotifying several parcels of government land in favour of private parties over the last two years.

An unimpressed opposition the Congress and JDS insisted on the resignation of the CM saying the return of some land by Yeddyurappas family would not exonerate him of the crime of misusing his official position to further his familys interests.

The decision to return the land allotted to Yeddyurappas family comes close on the heels of the government deciding to order a judicial probe into all land allotments and denotification processes initiated by different governments in the state since 1994. Yeddyurappa is due to be in New Delhi over the weekend following summons by the BJP high command over the land deals involving his family. Party president KS Eshwarappa and a possible deputy for Yeddyurappa from the dominant Lingayat community Jagadish Shettar are scheduled to travel to New Delhi as well.

Among the land being offered back to the government by Yeddyurappas family include a 4,000 sq ft plot given to his son and member of parliament BY Raghavendra last July in the upmarket RMV extension in Bangalore by the Bangalore Development Authority and two acres of industrial land given to his daughter Umadevi 55 km from Bangalore to set up a BPO by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board.

A nephew and sister of the CM also offered to return residential plots allotted to them by the Bangalore Development Authority.

The move by the CM comes despite his argument five days ago that there was nothing illegal in these allotments. Yeddyurappas son Raghavendra told television channels that the land was being returned to the government because the opposition is trying to embarrass the chief minister over the allotments.

Today some family members of the Chief Minister who have taken land from the Bangalore Development Authority or the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board are saying they will surrender their land. This is no solution. Even if a thief surrenders stolen property does he not have to face action. Yeddyurappa must resign first, said JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy.