The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Wednesday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged irregularities in Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project, being executed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE).

Dubbing the project as a “major fraud”, he urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order a probe by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into concessions extended to the project.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Deve Gowda said that the CBI probe should cover all “irregularities” in the BMIC project — from the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) till date.

He said the CAG probe should cover certain concessions and exemptions extended to the project by the Union government.

“It is a major fraud exceeding Rs. 50,000 crore; probably the biggest corporate fraud in the country after ENRON,” he observed.

Welcoming the petition filed by social activist T.J. Abraham against the project, he said that he had not received court notice yet but would not hesitate to appear before the Lokayukta Court “if notice is served”.

The Lokayukta Court, on October 26, ordered a probe against Mr. Deve Gowda, the former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on a complaint alleging irregularities in the project. The MoU was signed by Mr. Deve Gowda when was the Chief Minister.

Mr. Deve Gowda said that since 1995, when the first MoU was signed, the project has undergone several changes. Road alignment has changed three times, he added.

NICE, which promised to invest Rs. 1,500 crore on the project, had pledged the land it got on lease to a commercial bank and secured loan against it. This violated the agreement signed with the government, he said. “NICE did not pay even single paise to the government till 2003,” he added.

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