BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has recommended the name of BDA Commissioner Sham Bhat to head the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC).
The KPSC has remained headless for over one year now. The choice of Bhat as KPSC chairperson has evoked keen interest in political and administrative domains as Governor Vajubhai Vala had rejected Siddaramaiah government’s earlier choice of V R Sudarshan in May 2015, citing Sudarshan’s political affiliations with the Congress and allegations of irregularities in purchase of a site. Bhat, who has been heading BDA for nearly four years now, was recently promoted to the rank of Principal Secretary. The 1992-batch IAS officer had earlier served as Commissioner in the Department of Muzrai(Endowment) and Commissioner of Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).
Though the state government has not yet made its choice public, a senior minister told Express that the proposal is under consideration and a decision has been made to recommend Bhat’s name for the post. The recommendation is expected to be sent for the Governor’s assent any time soon.
Express tried to reach Bhat over the phone for his comments, but he did not respond to calls. The Governor, while rejecting the name of Sudarshan for the KPSC post, had stressed on the need for recommending persons without any political leanings and of high integrity.
Move raises eyebrows, BJP set to oppose
Siddaramaiah’s decision to recommend Bhat’s name for KPSC has raised many questions as the officer has been associated with a case related to denotification of land filed against Siddaramaiah before the Anti-Corruption Bureau by a city advocate. Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar opposed the decision and accused Siddaramaiah of committing huge irregularities in BDA in cooperation with Bhat. Referring to the alleged alternative sites scam in Kempegowda Layout, Shettar demanded a CBI probe.