They granted official favours to donor firms: Kumaraswamy
The former Karnataka Chief Minister and Lok Sabha MP, H.D. Kumaraswamy, has alleged that the trust run by sons of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa received Rs.27.18 crore during 2008-09 and 2009-10 by way of corpus donation by “misusing the Chief Minister's office and rendering official favours to those companies.”
The Prerana Educational and Social Trust is an educational trust formed by Mr. Yeddyurappa's son and Lok Sabha member B.Y. Raghavendra, who is its founder and managing trustee. It was incorporated in 2006 and within five years it had set up a number of schools and colleges, including an engineering college.
Mr. Kumaraswamy, who was talking to journalists here on Wednesday jointly with the leaders of Left parties, the AIADMK, the TDP and the Janata Dal (Secular), said B.Y. Vijayendra, another son of Mr. Yeddyurappa, was also one of the trustees. Both the sons rendered “official favours to the donors [companies] and collected huge donations” to the Trust as “illegal gratification for favours obtained.”
The scam was that one of the donor companies – Adarsh Developers – had encroached upon government lands and a tank bed to develop housing projects and this was even conveyed to the Chief Minister's Principal Secretary in a letter dated June 7, 2010, by the Karnataka Public Lands Corporation Limited Managing Director, who is also the government's revenue secretary. Interestingly the officer is also Member-Secretary of the Task Force for Protection of government lands.
Mr. Kumaraswamy read out a portion of the letter, which said: “If we turn a Nelson's eye to encroachments by powerful people and developers [this is the second case concerning a developer where the Chief Minister's office has intervened], we will have no moral courage to initiate action against any other encroacher.”
“Misuse of office”
The former Prime Minister and JD(S) president, H.D. Deve Gowda, father of Mr. Kumaraswamy, alleged that the expose was another proof of “misuse” of office and “corruption” by Mr. Yeddyurappa and wondered how the BJP, which was preaching honesty in public life, was “shamelessly” allowing continuance of its Chief Minister in Karnataka.
CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan said the BJP's talk about taking moral high ground on corruption vis-à-vis the Congress was nothing but “a pot calling the kettle black.” Both the BJP and the Congress had no agenda except to encourage corruption in the country, he said.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury charged that while the UPA-II regime had made Delhi the corruption capital of India, the BJP had made Bangalore south India's corruption capital.
TDP parliamentary party leader N. Nageswara Rao said the case was a proof of money laundering through creation of bogus companies.