KHB scam again rocks Assembly

Opposition insists on CBI or Lokayukta probe

 While the JD(S) and the Congress insisted either a CBI or Lokayukta probe should be ordered. However, the ruling BJP did not concede the demand.

Efforts by Speaker Jagadish Shettar to end the deadlock turned futile, as both parties refused to budge an inch. The Opposition parties held that the government’s decision to conduct a probe by an Additional Chief Secretary rank officer into the land purchases done by the KHB in the last five years, will not bring out the truth.

When the House met this morning, the Opposition staged dharna demanding CBI or Lokayukta probe. The Speaker adjourned the House as the Opposition continued dharna despite his repeated appeals.

They staged a dharna in the well of the House, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house repeatedly. The protesting members shouted slogans “tirupathi Govinda... Goovinda”, indirectly hinting that the former Housing Minister S N Krishnaiah Setty, who is a great believer of Lord Venkateshwara, has cheated farmers by buying their land at a throw away price. It is alleged that the government had given its nod to the KHB to buy 959 acre of farm land in Chikkaballapur at Rs 50 lakh per acre for a housing scheme. The KHB had bought 31 acres from Krishnaiah Setty’s brother S N Srinivasa Setty, who had bought the same land at just Rs 5 lakh per acre.

CM skips meet

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa did not even attend the meetings of leaders convened by the Speaker to end the impasse.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar told the House that the government had on Tuesday patiently listened to all charges made by the Opposition parties and ordered a probe by an ACS. “We will not yield to the pressure tactics of the Opposition,” he stated.

But JD(S) floor leader H D Revanna demanded that the government should immediately suspend the KHB Commissioner and the Housing department Secretary and take appropriate action against Krishnaiah Setty, besides handing over the issue to the Lokayukta.

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah charged the CM with shielding those involved in the scam by not ordering a CBI probe. The JD(S), sources said, is planning to seek the Governor’s intervention, if the government sticks to its stand.

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