BENGALURU: Pressure continued to mount on Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav over the purchase of agricultural land by his mother, with demands of his suspension gaining momentum. On Friday, activist Ravi Krishnareddy demanded a judicial probe into the alleged irregularities committed to ensure the ownership of land in Jadhav’s mother’s name.
Though Jadhav has tried to distance himself from the controversy, recent revelations which allege undue pressure on junior officials by him to clear the files related to the land, has put him in a tight spot. The transfer of another IAS officer Munish Moudgil, who was the Commissioner of the Department of Survey, Settlement and Land Records, over the issue has also created problems for the top bureaucrat of the State.
Addressing a press meet on Friday, Krishnareddy demanded a judicial probe over the controversial land. Apart from allegations of forged documents, Jadhav was also accused of using his clout to push for the deal.
“It is learnt that he also had a WhatsApp group consisting of officials, where he had issued instructions to ensure that necessary documents related to the land are issued,” he said.
The gomala (grazing) land in survey no 29 of Ramanayakanahalli in Bengaluru Urban district, he said, was actually distributed to landless unauthorised occupants in 1978. However, later when Jadhav’s mother Taradevi purchased portions of the survey no, the tahsildhar and other officials of the taluk colluded with Jadhav to change the purpose of land from agricultural use to commercial use.
It can also be noted that Taradevi had applied for the land, claiming that she was a farmer and had agricultural land in Devanahalli, he said.
“Sites in the survey number have become valuable as they are located only 2 kilometres from the farthest ward of BBMP. According to locals, the current price for an acre of land in the village is `3 to `5 crores. The government should reclaim the land, which will save a revenue of `200-300 crore,” he added.
Krishnareddy also alleged that the transactions of Tarabai, were being managed by Jadhav’s sister Veena Devi. “She (Taradevi) is 85 years old and is a real-estate developer. It is likely that she is just the front for a benami company,” he added.