Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa must be chuckling with schadenfreude. After losing his job because of allegations of being involved in a landscam by the Lokayukta Court last year, its now the turn of his hated one-time protege D V Sadananda Gowda to face the heat from the Lokayukta over alleged irregulalrities in land allotment.
Last week, the Karnataka Lokayukta court took cognisance of a complaint filed against Gowda, and his wife Datty Gowda over alleged irregularities in land allotment. The complainant, Nagalakshmi Bai, filed a case in the first week of September alleging that illegal construction on government land and allotment of the site to themmselves under the CM’s discretionary quota when they already possessed land.
Nagalakshmi alleged that in 2008, Gowda’s wife Datty purchased 7.5 guntas (one gunta is about 1,086 square feet) of “gomala” (land reserved for grazing purpose) land in Bangalore North, Jala Hobli, Bagalur village, without proper documents and also subsequently constructed a two-floor building spread over 8,700 sq ft, flouting the City corporation and Bangalore Development Authority rules.
The complainant alleged that while declaring his assets and liabilities to the Election Commission, Sadananda Gowda, who was then a MP, showed details of the purchase of land but not of the building constructed on it. After he became chief minister, Gowda did not declare that the building was constructed on the said land.
Apart from this, he is also alleged to have got 10 cents (around 4,350 sq ft) of land in Puttur during his tenure as a MLA in 1998. Nagalakshmi prayed for a probe under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IPC. Judge N K Sudhindra Rao adjourned the case to September 22 for recording of the sworn statement of the complainant.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Sunday Standard, Sadananda Gowda denied any irregularities and questioned the hidden motive of the complainant. “Immediately after announcing that I would be the chief minister, she went ahead and filed a PIL in the High Court. After I resigned, she files another complaint in the Lokayukta Court.,” Gowda said.
In August, 2011, the High Court had made the same observations. A division bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar had lashed out at the petitioner’s reasoning and the timing of the petition. The Court had also objected to the petitioner’s decision to go to the media first before approaching the court and noted that she was hungry for publicity.
Gowda, was chosen by Yeddyurappa as his successor, when he had to quit after the Lokayukta's indictment in August 2011. Yeddy had hoped that Gowda would step down once his former mentor’s troubles were over and he could reclaim the chief minister’s post. Discretionary or illegal land allotment scams in Karnataka has been plaguing former chief ministers across political parties causing much political mud to fly.
-- Sunday Standard