Bangalore, November 17: As allegations of favoured land allotments to his relatives surfaced, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday pledged in god’s name that he would not yield to any pressure in land deals.
Controversial land dealings involving Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s family members and several of his ministerial colleagues, now tumbling out of the closet one after another, have threatened to trigger another political crisis in Karnataka.
As the BJP central leadership started seriously considering the leadership issue in the State afresh in the face of embarrassing details about questionable land deals linking Yeddyurappa, a fresh revelation on Wednesday threw light on powerful minister Shobha Karandlaje who holds the energy portfolio.
As media disclosures shifted the spotlight on her during the day, Shobha conceded that she was involved in the purchase of 166 acres of farm land in Kodagu sometime ago. On record, the land in question was bought for Rs 3.5 crore.
The purchase was made in the name of what appeared to be a fictitious company––Kapila Manjushree Apparels. Shobha has shown herself to be the company’s managing director with her brother Lakshman Gowda as one of the partners. She had availed of a loan of Rs 3.5 crore from Bangalore-based Adarsh Developers to buy the land. Adarsh Developers gave her the loan without any security or agreement.
Shobha had given #18 Crescent Road as the address of Kapila Manjushree Apparels. However, no such company operates from the address. She claimed that #18 Crescent Road was her residence-cum-office when she floated the company.
When contacted by Deccan Herald, Shobha claimed that she had arranged money for the land purchase from Federal Bank by pledging her BDA site in Bangalore. But she also conceded to having borrowed some money from Adarsh Developers at 7.2 per cent interest for the land deal. She, however, claimed that she did not know the exact amount of loan borrowed or how much of it had been repaid so far.
Meanwhile, allegations continued to be levelled against the chief minister regarding land dealings. In a fresh attack on Yeddyurappa, it was alleged that he had denotified 11.25 acre prime land in May 2010 in the Bangalore east taluk in favour of a Dubai-based businessman. The total value of the land is estimated to be around Rs 150 crore.
Within a few days of the denotification order, about 3 acres land was allegedly registered in the name of Besto Company, owned by Yeddyurappa’s sons, B Y Raghavendra and B Y Vijayendra. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had acquired the land in 2004 to form Arkavathy Layout.
Yeddyurappa has allegedly denotified about 6.5 acres BDA land in the same area to help his two sons acquire it. Besides, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) had allotted about 11 acres industrial land in Peenya to Davanagiri Property Developers owned by his sons. The land was allegedly allotted within a fortnight of the registration of the firm.
Under mounting pressure, the chief minister on Monday declared that he was ready to institute a judicial inquiry to look into all land dealings over the last ten years. Allegations are also made against BJP State President K S Eshwarappa.
The KIADB has reportedly allotted two acres of industrial land at Dobbspet on the outskirts of Bangalore to Bharath Industries, promoted by Eshwarappa’s son K E Kanthesh.
Eshwarappa’s son had floated Bharath Industries Ltd with the registered office located in Shimoga. Within 28 days of incorporating the new company, he allegedly got the land allotted. Among the six directors appointed to the company are Eshwarappa, his wife Jayalakshmi, son Kanthesh, son-in-law Nirmal Kumar and daughter-in-law Shalini.
Eshwarappa said the KIADB has allotted land to the company as per the stipulated rules and there was nothing illegal about it. He threatened to initiate legal action against media houses which published the alleged land allotment in favour of his son’s firm.
These revelations have come in the backdrop of some controversial land dealings by other ministers like R Ashoka and Katta Subramanya Naidu.
Sources in the state BJP said that the party high command could consider a change of leadership in the state. The BJP central leadership has taken a moral high ground in the 2G scam, the Adarsh scam and CWG scam and it apparently finds itself in a spot of embarrassment over unending land scam revelations from the state involving top leaders