Staff Reporter

Memorandum submitted to Chief Electoral Officer against Chief Minister for filing `false affidavit' before polls

Similar petition to be submitted to the Returning Officer for Ramanagaram Assembly constituencyCongress to continue demand for an inquiry into the BMIC projectChief Minister urged not to defy the Supreme Court verdict

BANGALORE: The Congress on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission seeking action against Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy for allegedly filing a false affidavit along with his nomination papers for the elections to the Legislative Assembly held in 2004.

Led by former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge and the former Ministers H.K. Patil and R.V. Deshpande, legislators and other members of the party submitted a petition to the Chief Electoral Officer here seeking action against Mr. Kumaraswamy. The memorandum follows allegations that he owns a larger extent of land than he declared in the affidavit, and comes in the wake of the controversy over the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project.

A similar petition will be submitted to the Returning Officer for the Ramanagaram Assembly constituency, who had cleared Mr. Kumaraswamy's candidature and declared him elected. The Congress cited press reports of the past two days, in which it was alleged that Mr. Kumaraswamy only declared ownership of 24 acres of land though he owned over 40 acres. It quoted the Chief Minister as saying that 46 acres of farmland owned by him was not located in the BMIC project area.

The Congress said this made it a false affidavit, and he was liable for action as per provisions of Section 33A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, along with Rule 4A of the Conduct of Election rules and directions and orders issued under Article 324 of the Constitution. Mr. Dharam Singh told presspersons after submitting the memorandum: "Tuesday's developments saw the coalition partners the Janata Dal (S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party engage in an unseemly fight. This infighting does not augur well for the State."

He said the "unholy alliance" between the two parties was now unravelling rapidly, and differences over the BMIC project could well sound its death-knell.

Mr. Kharge said the Congress would continue to demand an inquiry into the BMIC project. He said it was intriguing that the Government was anxious about "excess" land said to have been given to the promoter of the project, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited, at this point, and wondered why these questions were not raised earlier.

The Congress would await the proposed Bill to retrieve "excess" land before commenting on its consequences, he said.

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