Shettar says he will retire if charge against him is proved
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said he would quit politics if Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar proved charges of corruption against him.
“I’m ready to face an inquiry from any agency into my assets and that of my family members. I have not involved in corruption in the three decades of my political career. I am ready to retire from politics if he (Mr. Shettar) proves the charge of corruption against me,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
Soon after the Legislative Assembly was adjourned, the Chief Minister told presspersons that 983 acres of land acquired for the formation of Arkavati Layout by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) was denotified during the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government and later by the BJP government. The Jagadish Shettar government had denotified 422 acres of land. The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa denotified 198.2 acres, he said.
Mr. Siddaramaiah claimed his government had not denotified even an inch of land.
He said the “re-modified scheme of the Arkavati Layout” was implemented after the Congress came to power and it was based on the Karnataka High Court orders.
Terming Mr. Shettar’s charge that he denotified 541 acres in June 2014 to raise the election fund as baseless, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “I have not involved in corruption. But how much fund the BJP raised by denotifying land,” he asked.
Though it was decided to form the layout on 3,750 acres, a preliminary notification was issued in 2003 for 3,839.12 acres. The final notification was issued in 2004 for 2,760 acres and a revised notification was issued later for 1766.07 acres, he said.
‘Eye on bypolls’
Mr. Siddaramaiah said the BJP was raking up rape cases and land denotification to gain political mileage in the run-up to the byelections to the three Assembly segments in August.
Mr. Shettar told presspersons that he too would retire from politics if the Chief Minister proved the charge that he denotified 422 acres of land during his term. “I am ready to face an inquiry. Let the government order a CBI probe,” he said.
He told presspersons that the Siddaramaiah government had denotified 983 acres by violating six guidelines issued by the High Court of Karnataka. Land in 16 villages surrounding the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore, were denotified, he alleged.