TAMIL NADU

Persons 'ignorant of law' blamed for palace row

BANGALORE, OCT. 7. The scion of the royal family and former MP, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, has blamed a group of persons in the Government, who were ignorant of the law, for the move to take over the Mysore Palace, in a portion of which he is residing.

However, Mr. Wadiyar has said he will not hold the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, responsible for the development, as it is unlikely that he would have taken such an ill-advised action. He said he would meet the Chief Minister in a day or two in this connection.

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Wadiyar said the appointment of a special officer for initiating the process of settling the claim of compensation to be paid towards the acquisition of the palace might have been the handiwork of the group of persons in the Government based on wrong legal advice.

He said he came to know of the move through newspapers and he had not received any communication from the Government about the appointment of the special officer.

Mr. Wadiyar said the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, Y. Bhaskar Rao, who had passed a stay order against acquisition of Mysore Palace, had also ordered status quo in the matter. Thus, the Government had been restrained from acting further till the case was disposed of finally. The acquisition order, if the Government had issued it, was wrong, he said and added that he would decide on the course of legal action to be taken soon.

Siddaramaiah blamed

Our Mysore Staff Correspondent reports:

Mr. Wadiyar, who is camping in Bangalore, told The Hindu on telephone that the move was the "machination of the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah," and drew a note of caution saying that the Government would be in trouble if it continued with it.

"The issue smacks of local petty politics and I will speak to the Chief Minister soon after his return from the election campaign in Bidar,'' Mr.Wadiyar said. Asked who was instrumental in reviving the issue now, Mr. Wadiyar said it was for the Government to answer knowing fully well the consequences of the action as the matter was sub judice. "If it pursues the issue, we will move court seeking legal redress. But I am not perturbed at all as the court has ordered status quo and I am sure the Government realises it as well".

He allayed fears that the row would affect the Dasara festivities. The organisers had sought permission for using the howdah and the golden throne. "We have promised them support for the smooth conduct of Dasara,'' he said.