The allotment of G-category sites under the State government's discretionary quota has come to haunt yet another politician — Priyank Kharge, son of Union Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge.
When the allotment of G-category sites to politicians and their kin blew into a major controversy towards the end of 2011, Mr. Priyank Kharge announced his intention to surrender a 4,000-sq. ft plot allotted to him by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) when Congress leader N. Dharam Singh was the Chief Minister. The site in HSR Layout was allotted at the throwaway price of Rs. 8.57 lakh and Mr. Priyank Kharge also constructed a commercial building on the plot.
On October 28, 2011, Mr. Priyank Kharge wrote to the BDA seeking cancellation of the allotment stating that he “no longer needed” the plot. The BDA cancelled the allotment on December 5, 2011.
However, once the media glare shifted from the issue, Mr. Priyank Kharge wrote to the BDA on December 9, 2011 seeking re-allotment of the site. RTI activist B.M. Shivkumar, who got these documents, said, “Once a site [allotment] is cancelled, there is no provision for re-allotment.” Yet, the BDA ratified the re-allotment of the site surrendered by Mr. Priyank Kharge.
In a fresh twist, Mr. Priyank Kharge approached the BDA once again on January 23, 2012 seeking to exchange his 4,000-sq. ft plot with a 2,400-sq. ft plot that had been allotted under the G-category to his party colleague and Sedam MLA Sharan Prakash Rudrappa Patil at HBR Layout.
“All this was sanctioned by BDA Commissioner Bharath Lal Meena,” said Mr. Shivkumar.
While Mr. Meena could not be contacted for a reaction, Mr. Priyank Kharge said, “When the controversy erupted, we wanted no part in it and returned the site. Then, our legal adviser told us that the matter of G-category allotments was before the court. We were advised that surrendering the plot at this stage was unnecessary.”
Asked why he wanted to exchange the plot with Mr. Patil, he said that it was a mutual swap.