Assembly did not transact any business on Saturday
The Legislative Assembly saw tumultuous scenes on Saturday when the State government refused to budge on the demand by Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the 983-acre land de-notification scam alleged to have taken place in the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) limits.
BJP members continued their dharna for the second day alleging involvement of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the scam.
As soon as the House met, BJP members trooped into the well, urging the government to order a CBI investigation into what they termed the “biggest land denotification scam” in the history of the BDA. Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar alleged that the Congress government had denotified 983 acres of land acquired for the formation of the Arkavati Layout in the city by violating six guidelines issued by the Karnataka High Court.
Even as Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa told members to return to their seats and allow the House to debate on grants for several departments, BJP members shouted slogans and Mr. Shettar was involved in a heated argument with Mr. Siddaramaiah.
As his efforts to mollify members went in vain, the Speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes. He urged Floor leaders and the Chief Minister to resolve the issue amicably.
After the House reassembled, Mr. Siddaramaiah announced the government’s readiness to conduct an inquiry by one of the three agencies — Criminal Investigation Department (CID), House committee or a judicial probe — if the BJP agreed and cooperated in conducting the House proceedings. But the BJP stuck to its demand for a CBI probe and continued its dharna.
Mr. Shettar alleged that the government wanted to hush up the “multi-crore” scam by ordering a probe by the CID, which functions according to the whims and fancies of the State government. “Why is the government scared to order a CBI probe,” he asked.
Mr. Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP saying 422 acres of the BDA land was denotiifed by the previous BJP government on February 12, 2013, when Mr. Shettar was the Chief Minister. Though the Congress had demanded CBI probes into 20 scams during the BJP government’s term, all demands were rejected. Now, the BJP themselves were insisting on a CBI probe just because the NDA government, led by the BJP, was in power at the Centre, Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
Adjourned for the day
With both the Congress and BJP members trading charges against each other, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day. The House did not transact any business. Janata Dal (Secular) members maintained silence on the issue.