A senior Karnataka Administrative Service Officer has alleged that he was "pressured" by Anti- Corruption Bureau officers to give a statement against BJP Karnataka unit chief B S Yeddyurappa in connection with a case regarding alleged illegal land denotification.
A senior Karnataka Administrative Service Officer has alleged that he was “pressured” by Anti- Corruption Bureau officers to give a statement against BJP Karnataka unit chief B S Yeddyurappa in connection with a case regarding alleged illegal land denotification. The officer in a letter to Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and Chief Secretary Shubash Chandra Khuntia also claimed that since he refused to heed to the “illegal” demands by the officers, he was arrayed as an accused in the case.
H Basavarajendra, Deputy Secretary Mines, Investigation Cell and Sugar, in the letter, urged them to look into the matter immediately and protect his interests. When contacted, there was no immediate response from the ACB. The ACB had registered a case against the former chief minister in connection with denotification of over 257 acres of land in Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout in northern Bengaluru.
It was based on a complaint filed by member of a social organisation ‘Jana Samanya Vedike’. Yeddyurappa was asked by the ACB to appear before it today for questioning but sought 10 days time to do so. Sources close to Yeddyurappa said he would move the Karnataka High Court, seeking quashing of the case.
Basavarajendra was Special Land Acquisition Officer at Bengaluru Development Authority when the alleged denotification took place during Yeddyurappa’s chief ministership. Basavarajendra’s letter has come at a time when the BJP and Yeddyurappa have alleged that the ACB is being used by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to target the party in retaliation to the recent Income Tax department raids on Energy Minister D K Shivakumar.
Yeddyurappa has been accused of denotifying 257 acres from the preliminary notification of 3,546 acres meant to form Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout bypassing the denotified committee approval. Rejecting the BJP’s charge of government using ACB against the party leaders, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said everyone 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) investigated and filed an FIR. Everyone has to abide by the law,” he told reporters in Tumkuru.
“Is there any one 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, Siddaramaiah said he was making such statements out of “frustration” as FIRs had been registered against him.
Siddaramaiah alleged that all these activities started after BJP President Amit Shah during his three-day visit to the state chided party leaders for “not being active” and cautioned them that the party would “not do well” in the 2018 assembly polls. Yeddyurappa had yesterday “vowed” to put Siddaramaiah behind bars by “exposing scams”, “once the BJP comes to power in the state”.