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Karnataka govt orders probe into land purchases by Gowda family

Source: PTI
February 03, 2011 17:34 IST
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In a tit-for-tat offensive against the family members of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka on Thursday ordered a probe into certain land deals said to have been made by them.

Hitting back at the Janata Dal-Secular chief and his sons, who have been repeatedly levelling charges against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, the ruling government began an enquiry into grant of 82.10 acres of government land in Paduvalahippe village in Hassan district, allegedly in violation of Land Reforms Act.

The land secured included 4.39 acres of tank, which was breached and converted into a farm in the name of Gowda's wife Chennamma, and later transferred to his son H D Revanna.

Giving details of the probe against the Gowda family, B J Puttaswamy, political secretary to the CM, told mediapersons that revenue authorities in the Bengaluru division had served a notice on H Kavitha, wife of H D Balakrishna Gowda, eldest son of Gowda, for purchasing 8.06 acres at Chikkagubbi village on the city outskirts. She has been asked to appear for enquiry along with documents on February 23.

"The lands purchased by family members of Gowda are in violation of the Land Revenue Act Section 79 A, which bars anyone having non-agricultural income exceeding RsĀ 2 lakh from buying agricultural lands. All those who have purchased lands are income-tax assesses and cannot purchase land," he said.

Notices have also been issued to Gowda's another son, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who has purchased 21.36 acres near Bidadi in Ramanagara district and another piece of land measuring 22.21 acres in the same area, which he got as "gift" from his mother-in-law Vimala. Puttasamy said the above lands belonged to Scheduled Caste and Tribe people, which was granted by the government and the purchase of these lands by others was a violation of rules.

Kumaraswamy has also been slapped with a notice for purchasing 6.38 acres from a person from the Scheduled Caste. Vimala was given a notice, stating that she violated rules by purchasing lands. The BJP has accused JD-S of colluding with the Congress to topple the first ever BJP government in the south.

"Revanna and Kumaraswamy have been repeatedly saying they would retire from politics if anyone proved allegations of illegal land-grabbing and irregularities in purchase of lands by them. Now I have proved it with documentary evidence. When will they retire from politics?" Puttaswamy said.

Karnataka Housing Minister V Somanna charged that Devegowda has been "intolerant" to chief ministers from the majority Lingayat community. "He had troubled S R Bommai, J H Patel, S Nijalingappa and now Yeddyurappa," he said.

Sommana said mudslinging politics should come to an end and asked Revanna to prove his charge with documents that Yeddyurappa had purchased lands worth Rs 1,000 crore in the last 50 months.
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