Team Mangalorean - Bangalore
from Shweta Somaya
Coordinated by Richard Lasrado
Bangalore: The seat of the Karnataka chief minister and denotification rows seem to have an eternal and inseparable link. Most past chief ministers during the past decade or longer - Krishna, Dharam Singh, Kumaraswamy and Yeddyurappa - have all invariably faced charges of land denotification.
The latest one to adorn the seat, Jagadish Shettar, is yet to be sworn in. But he is already in the eye of a controversy. Talakadu Chikkarangegowda, convener of the Karnataka Jana Jagruti Vedike, has accused the then-chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and then minister Shettar of irregular land dealings during the BJP-JD(S) coalition regime beginning 2006.
Shettar is facing the charge of having denotified the land acquired in 2004 by the government for building an agricultural produce marketing yard in Dasanapura in Bangalore north taluk. Chikkarangegowda has alleged that the land was sold to private parties thereafter.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com correspondent from Bangalore, Chikkarangegowda also said that he would soon approach the Lokayukta with the details. Asked about the timing of making the disclosures at this crucial stage when Shettar was to be sworn in and possibility of any motives behind the move, he denied that there was any mala fide intention or conspiracy. It was only that the necessary evidence had not reached his hands until now, and hence it was not possible to place them before the media earlier, he insisted.
Providing the details, Chikkarangegowda said that the coalition government came to power on February 6, 2006. Within a month, on March 4, 2006, Shettar, who was the minister of revenue, got 188 acres of land in Dasanapura denotified. The denotification of that land needed a cabinet approval, but this requirement was given a go-by, said he.
Now about five and six developers have fully developed the land. He further said that if at all the land was reverted to the original owners, it was a different matter. But this whole deal amounted to gross irregularity, he also said.
He is an MA in History. Currently he is doing a research on Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, and his rule. As one of the thrusts in his dissertation for Ph D, he wants to dispel the myth that Tipu was anti-Hindu. He says if at all Tipu was anti-Hindu, the Sringeri temple would not have existed today.
In 1791, the Maratha forces led by Parsuram Bahu had attacked and looted the valuables from the Sringeri temple. It was Tipu who had given protection to Sachidananda Swamiji II. The idol of the deity now being venerated was installed with the help of Tipu's grants, while the original had been taken away by the Maratha marauders, he said.
He says he does not have any political leanings, but is only active in the Tipu Sultan Prachar Samiti and heads the Karnataka Jana Jagruti Vedike, which has been formed for popular struggles and campaigns.