On a day when the balance tilted conclusively in favour of Jagadish Shettar replacing D.V. Sadananda Gowda as Chief Minister, corruption allegations against the two leaders also flew thick and fast.
Flak against Shettar
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, members of the Janajagruthi Vedike produced documents showing that nearly 170 acres of land was illegally denotified in Bangalore North taluk by a senior revenue official when Mr. Shettar was the Revenue Minister in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government.
Vedike president Talakkad Chikkarange Gowda explained that 365 acres of land had been notified for acquisition by the government in 2001 for the formation of an Agricultural Produce Marketing yard in Dasanapura hobli. The notified land included government and private properties.
On March 31, 2004, the Principal Secretary of the Department of Cooperation wrote to the Director of the Agricultural Marketing Department and conveyed a decision taken by the State High Power Committee to leave out all the private lands from the acquisition.
The letter also said that the committee’s decision will be placed before the State Cabinet for approval.
The matter was, however, never placed before the Cabinet and neither was the land formally denotified.
After a lull of nearly two years, the Special Land Acquisition Officer passed a denotification order and returned the land to the original owners. This, alleged Mr. Chikkarange Gowda, was done at the behest of Mr. Shettar who was the then Revenue Minister. However, the activist could not produce documents to directly link Mr. Shettar to the alleged scam.
“He was the man in charge of revenue matters at the time. He should be held directly responsible for what happened,” said Byatha N. Jagadeesh, who also addressed the press conference.
Releasing documents indicting Sadananda Gowda, activist Nagalakshmi Bai alleged that the Chief Minister’s wife Datty owns a large house in Jala hobli, which is not mentioned in her husband’s declaration of assets.
However, the seven-and-half guntas of land on which the house has been built has been declared. The house does not find mention in the declaration made to the Lokayukta on September 3, 2011, and the declaration made to the Election Commission on December 12, 2011. A Kannada tabloid published a photograph of the house in its issue dated October 26, 2011.
“Even if it is assumed that the house was built after the declaration was made to the Lokayukta, the submission to the Election Commission was surely false as the photograph in the tabloid bears out,” said Ms. Nagalakshmi.
She produced additional documents to show that the construction plan for the house did not have the approval of the local authorities. Both the gram panchayat and the tahsildar’s office told the activist in response to an RTI application that they had not approved any building plan.
In fact, the building does not show up in any official document including the RTC. Interestingly, Rs. 4,130 was paid as tax to the gram panchayat for the land on April 5, 2012. Even at this stage, the building on the land finds no mention.
Meanwhile, Ms. Datty has told television channels that the charges are “false”.
Janajagruthi Vedike alleges that Shettar is involved in illegal denotification of land Activist alleges that Datty Sadananda Gowda owns a house that has not been declared
Janajagruthi Vedike alleges that Shettar is involved in illegal denotification of land
Activist alleges that Datty Sadananda Gowda owns a house that has not been declared