In another jolt to the crisis-ridden Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S. Suresh Kumar resigned on Saturday following allegations that he suppressed facts in an affidavit he produced to obtain a Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) site in Bangalore.
Mr. Kumar, who is perceived to be a man with a clean image, submitted his resignation to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda. However, Mr. Gowda said he would not accept the resignation immediately.
Mr. Kumar, who is the leader of the House in the Legislative Assembly, denied the allegations. “I am ready to face any inquiry to bring out the truth. I have resigned to save the party and the government from embarrassment,” he said.
On Saturday, a section of the media published a story quoting RTI activist and BJP worker S. Bhaskaran, who produced documents in support of his allegation, that Mr. Kumar’s mother and daughter owned two sites when the latter obtained a G category site (under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota) in Bangalore in 2011. Mr. Kumar had suppressed this information, the RTI activist claimed. Under the rules, an individual is not eligible for a BDA site if he or his close relatives own a site or house in the city.
Mr. Kumar, addressing a press conference, said that when he submitted an application to the BDA in June 2009, his family did not own any other site in the State. His mother and daughter purchased two sites in Nelamangala only in December 2009. He asserted that he did no wrong in obtaining the G category site, measuring 4,000 sq. ft, in the upscale Raj Mahal Vilas (RMV) II Stage. He had refused a G category site that was offered to him by the S.M. Krishna government because he had a house at that time, Mr. Kumar said.
Mr. Gowda said, “I have received the resignation, but have not accepted it. What has appeared in a section of the newspapers is far from the truth.” “I have explained to the Chief Minister the reason for resigning, and hope he will accept it since I have assured him that I will return to the post once my name is cleared,” Mr. Kumar told mediapersons here.
He said his mother, a retired teacher, sold her house here and two sites in Nelamangala on the city’s outskirts, which does not come under the BDA, including one in the name of his daughter, to buy the present house at Sharada Colony in Basaveshwaranagar. The house is registered in his mother’s name, he added.