BSY trips on land reward pitch

BSY trips on land reward pitch

Call it a pragmatic amendment to a bad decision or a realisation that pursuing that objective was frought with risks – which he has already flirted with after being accused on many occasions, by several quarters, that he and his family members have benefitted from the denotification of land in and around Bangalore.

Since the ghosts of the land scams are yet to be exorcised, there is a nagging belief among BJP leaders that Yeddyurappa’s decision to gift away land could prompt the Opposition to resurrect the scandals.

Besides, sensing that he would invite fresh trouble if he went ahead and declared the gift of land, which he cannot because he is barred by a Karnataka High Court judgment on allotting G category sites, Yeddyurappa took the prudent step to announce Rs 25 lakh for each Indian cricketer. The fresh annoucement was made while inaugurating the Kempe Gowda Museum at Mayo Hall.

A day after India lifted the World Cup, the chief minister hastily declared that each member of the victorious team would be alloted BDA sites measuring 50’ x 80’ in Bangalore. That largesse was also extended to coach Gary Kirsten.

After that announcement, Yeddyurappa directed BDA officials to identify land where the sites could be allotted.

A preliminary survey threw up such places as HSR Layout, OMBR Layout and a few other upmarket residential localities in the City. Along with this, the BDA drew up an action plan to evict encroachments from various places across Bangalore.

But no sooner did he make the annoucement, than the chief minister came under sharp criticism from various quarters.

In the noisy debate, some voices pointed out that even though the land scams were still fresh in the minds of the people, Yeddyurappa was again dabbling in land.

Several home-grown cricketers and other Karnataka sportspersons, who had been promised land gifts which they never received, felt they were first in the line for the award. Several thousand people, who have been waiting for years for allotment of Bangalore Development Authority sites, joined in the chorus.

Sensing the general mood and acting on advice, Yeddyurappa reasoned on Thursday that “there are many legal hurdles involved in Bangalore Development Authority sites to the cricketers.”

So, the chief minister said, the government has decided to give Rs 25 lakh to each cricketer. Refusing to take questions from mediapersons, the chief minister, who has just returned from a whirlwind election tour of Bangarpet in Kolar district, left for another destination.

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