I won't quit, says tainted Katta

Its a political conspiracy against me and my family

I won't quit, says tainted Katta

Katta who is allegedly involved in a multi-crore fake compensation scam in the KIADB, declared this after he held a protracted one-on-one meeting with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in Bangalore on Thursday evening. The Chief Minister summoned Katta soon after the Karnataka Lokayukta arrested his son - Corporator Katta Jagadish on an alleged bribery case.

The IT& BT Minister arrived at the Chief Minister Race Course road residence in a private car and speculation was rife that Katta would submit his resignation to the Chief Minister.

However, when he emerged out of the meeting, he gave an impression that he is not perturbed with the Lokayukta’s action against him and his son. The minister said “It is a political conspiracy against me and my son. People who have not been able to digest my family’s rise in politics are conspiring against me and my family. I am shortly going to reveal the names of those who are trying to tarnish my image.” 

Though it is not clear what exactly transpired between Katta and the Chief Minister during the meeting, the party sources said there is pressure from within the party on the IT&BT Minister to quit. The party, it is learnt, has taken a stand that Katta’s is a bad case to defend and that he is already neck-deep in the scam.

Yeddyurappa, it is learnt, is only awaiting for the Lokayukta to submit its report to the Government on the KIADB scam, to show the doors to Katta. What has made the Chief Minister’s task in this regard difficult is his own alleged involvement in the denotification scam. Hence, the Chief Minister is bit hesitant to directly ask his once close-aid Katta to quit, sources said.

At the same time, sources added, the party has decided to go offensive against the opposition attack. But the party leaders, including the Chief Minister, have been asked not to speak too much about the allegations being made against the Government and the ministers.

Minister and the scam

It is not only Katta but some of his family members too have allegedly played a role in the KIADB scam.

The scam revolves around a company called Itaska Software Development Pvt Ltd, which secured clearance to set up IT and hardware SEZ when Katta was Industries Minister during the JD(S)-BJP coalition Government.

The total land required for the SEZ was 3,268.10 acres, of this, 1,507.2 acres was government land. The Lokayukta found that compensation to the tune of Rs 105 crore have been paid to those who claimed ownership of government land by producing fictitious documents. Jagadish Katta and one of his close associates are among those who received compensation.

Chronology

*Sept 22: Lokayukta police come out with details of a scam in KIADB. Criminal cases booked against three KAS officers and a retired officer of KIADB and a mediator Santhosh arrested.
*Sept 24: Newspapers carry reports stating that Katta Jagadish accepted compensation of Rs four crore in respect to government land.
*Sept 25: Three KAS officers - Anil Kumar, Ramakrishna and Chikkabettaiah suspended.
Another accused M R Hiremath transferred from KIADB to the Dept of Collegiate Education.
*Sept 26: The Govt’s inaction in respect to a FIR registered against Katta Jagadish and two others, filed a year ago, comes to light.
*Sept 27: The father-son duo meet Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde and plead innocence in the case.
*Sept 30: Lokayukta sleuths arrest Katta Jagadish after he was allegedly found paying bribe of Rs 1 lakh to Ramanuja, one of the witnesses in the case.

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