lleging that Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani was involved in an illegal sale of over 3,000 acres through KIADB, he said that rules were bent to allot land to politically connected people

The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has become the “Bharatiya Janata Party’s real estate head office”, alleged RTI activist Dinesh Kallalli here on Monday.

Alleging that Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani was involved in an illegal sale of over 3,000 acres through KIADB, he said that rules were bent to allot land to politically connected people. Citing an example, he said that Environment Minister Sogadu Shivanna’s wife S. Nagarathna had applied for 6,500 sq ft in Peenya Industrial Area to set up Swamy Offset Printers for “Sogadu”, a Kannada daily, on August 25, 2008.

“Applicants usually wait for months for an interaction with officials to discuss the land requirements. However, because of her connections, an interaction was scheduled on August 26,” he said.

Mr. Nirani had intervened and sent a note to KIADB recommending that the land be sold at Rs. 55.6 lakh. “This is just a fraction of the guidance value of Rs. 6 crore. The market rate of the land is around Rs. 10,000 per sq ft,” he said.

Mr. Shivanna dismissed the allegations. He told a regional news channel that he had only taken what was entitled to him. “The details of the land and all my property have been submitted to the Lokayukta. Neither I or my wife have indulged in any illegality,” he said.

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