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Updated: October 29, 2010 16:01 IST

Congress smells kickback in land lease

PTI
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A file picture of Mr. Siddaramaiah, Opposition Leader in Legislative Assembly. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
The Hindu
A file picture of Mr. Siddaramaiah, Opposition Leader in Legislative Assembly. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Principle opposition Congress in Karnataka today charged the BJP Government of resorting to leasing of about 5,000 acres of land owned by Horticultural Department to corporates and other organisations and the “scam” involved “kickbacks.”

Congress leader in the State Assembly Siddaramaiah and his deputy T B Jayachandra alleged at a press conference in Bangalore that the government, after leasing about 3,000 acres of land held by 14 horticultural farms to corporates and some sympathisers of the saffron party, was now preparing to lease another 2,000 acres.

“The entire transaction lacks transparency and involvement of kickback is there,” both the leaders charged and demanded that the government call off leasing of lands.

Majority of those who got the lease of vast tracts of lands, running into 500 acres in some cases, belonged to Mumbai and Delhi, they alleged.

About 410 horticultural farms owned a total of about 16,000 acres of land and the government was leasing them under the pretext that they were making losses, they said.

“If corporates can turn them into profit, why not the government? How this will help farmers? The government should focus on growing sowing seeds in these farms to avoid dependency on Andhra Pradesh growers,” Mr. Siddaramaiah demanded.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said his party would take to the streets and launch an agitation against the government on the issue.

He also wanted a probe into the matter.

Repudiating claims by Mr. Yeddyurappa that UPA Government has rated Karnataka as the second best State in development, Mr. Siddaramaiah said “then why is the State Gross Domestic Product output lower than the national average in Karnataka? The Yeddyurappa government must have resorted to jugglery of figures while presenting facts before the Centre,” he claimed.


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