BENGALURU: Less than 48 hours after Bilgi MLA Murugesh Nirani was sworn in as minister, an old criminal case from his past ministerial tenure returned to haunt him. Industrialist Alam Pasha, MD, Pash Space, made serious allegations against Nirani at a press meet here on Friday.
Furnishing an FIR, he alleged that Nirani, who was holding the industries portfolio in the first Yediyurappa government, had forged his signature and ensured that 26 acres of KIADB land sanctioned to Pasha at the Global Investors Meet 2010 was allotted to his own companies. He alleged that Nirani had got the allotment to Pasha cancelled and sold it to others.
The matter was reported to the anti-corruption agency Lokayukta, and investigated by an officer of the rank of superintendent of police and a chargesheet submitted. There are serious allegations in this case against Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa also. After Nirani was inducted as minister, Pasha held a press meet to raise the issue, and pointed out that if the minister was sincere, the KIADB land that was fraudulently taken away from him, be restored within three months.
Murugesh Nirani, who held a counter press conference to defend himself, said the land was not sold, and was still available. But Pasha stoutly denied it, saying there is no land available in the Hardware Technology Park, as the minister has claimed. Pasha said that if such land was available, they could show it to him and allot it as was legally done earlier. “I will pay the balance amount and take it,” he said.
He also said that he had proof of the land allotment, as the earnest money deposit (EMD) he had paid then, had not yet been refunded. He challenged the minister to make the land available to him in three months’ time, if what the minister was claiming was true.
In his defence, Nirani alleged that there are criminal cases against Pasha, who defended himself saying there were no pending cases, except for a recent raid that he claimed was instigated by the “powerful minister” himself. While Nirani tried to extricate himself out of this unpleasant mess, there was very little legal defence he could put up.
Prasad bats for Yogeshwar
Mysuru: With knives out for newly-inducted minister C P Yogeshwar from his own party legislators, veteran BJP MP V Srinivasa Prasad batted for him, saying he was instrumental in bringing the BJP government to power in the state. Prasad said he will talk to party MLC A H Vishwanath, who is angry as he was left out of the ministry.
“There are too many reasons for Vishwanath missing the boat,” he added but refused to divulge details. Prasad said that MLA N Munirathna should have made it to the cabinet, and revealed that there were charges against Nagesh, who was dropped from the ministry. He expressed displeasure over party workers suggested by him not making it as chairmen of boards and corporation.