A miffed Sadananda Gowda seeks to move privilege motion against him
A day after the Legislative Assembly referred a complaint against V. Balasubramanian, chairperson of the Task force for Recovery of Public Lands to the privilege committee, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party members in the Upper House also trained their guns on the retired bureaucrat on Wednesday. Leader of the Opposition D.V. Sadananda Gowda announced that he would file a notice seeking permission to move a privilege motion against him.
Mr. Gowda read out a newspaper report in which Mr. Balasubramanian had told presspersons that he [Mr. Gowda] had taken a delegation of coffee planters, who had encroached upon small extents of government land to the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, with a request that the deputy commissioners should not proceed against them. A miffed Mr. Gowda said such remarks had showed him in a poor light and had curtailed his privileges as a legislator. “The officer may be good and honest. But that should not go to his head. There is no need for him to target others, especially politicians, just to show that he is honest,” he said.
Accusing Mr. Balasubramanian of going beyond his limits, Mr. Gowda declared that he would file a notice before Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy seeking permission to move a privilege motion. Mr. Shankaramurthy ended the discussion on the issue by asking Mr. Gowda to give the notice. Opposition Chief Whip Shivayogiswamy even suggested that the former bureaucrat should be summoned to the Council and impeached.
Earlier, Minister for Revenue V. Srinivas Prasad said 11,02,584 acres of government land had been encroached upon in the State according to the Balasubramanian report that looked into encroachments of government land in the State, and the A.T. Ramaswamy committee which looked into encroachment of government land in and around Bangalore.
The above included 34,110 acres of government land encroached upon in Bangalore. Of this, encroachments had been cleared on 10,739 acres of land in Bangalore.
Giving a break-up of the encroachments, he said Bangalore additional north taluk accounted for highest encroachments of 12,021 acres of which 2,247 acres had been cleared. This was followed by Anekal (9,359 acres encroached and 2,755 acres cleared), Bangalore South (6,882 acres encroached and 1,981 acres cleared), Bangalore East (3,089 acres encroached and 1,404 acres cleared) and Bangalore North (2,758 acres encroached and 2,349 acres cleared).
He said the government had constituted a high-powered committee, led by the Chief Secretary and comprising heads of 15 departments, to clear the encroachments and to decide on how to implement the recommendations of the Balasubramanian task force and A.T. Ramaswamy report. Responding to the suggestion from a few members, he said the government was considering asking another senior IAS officer to head this panel on a full-time basis instead of burdening the Chief Secretary.