Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is in trouble for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore land scam in the state. Documents exclusively accessed by CNN-IBN show that Yeddyurappa bent every rule in the book, only to ensure allotment of land for his sons and other family members.
In this season of scams, Yeddyurappa's land deals could dwarf the ones like Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam.
Yeddyurappa's eldest son and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, BY Raghavendra, is the biggest beneficiary in the land-for-family-scheme playing out in Karnataka. The scam is embarrassing for the BJP which is targeting the Congress on a range of corruption issues from Commonwealth Games to 2G spectrum to Adarsh.
Over 2000 pages of documents now in the public domain show that Raghavendra and his younger brother Vijayendra got huge favours after their father became Karnataka deputy chief minister in 2006. Going by market rate the brothers are now sitting on land worth Rs 500 crore.
Raghavendra got a Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) plot in the posh RMV extension in Bangalore after he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 under the MP's quota. He paid just Rs 10 lakh but the market value now is over Rs 2 crore.
However, Raghavendra finds nothing wrong in the land deal.
"There is a tradition in all states that elected representatives get land. I too got it. No rule was flouted," says Raghavendra.
BDA rules say if Raghavendra or his family own property in Bangalore then he is not eligible. But documents with CNN-IBN clearly show that Raghavendra has lied in an affidavit saying he owns no other property in Bangalore. He forgot that he already owns a mansion at Manyata in Bangalore.
In another case Yeddyurappa denotified land acquired by the BDA in KR Puram to favour his sons and son-in-law Sohan Kumar. The Chief Minister has a strange argument when asked about his love for land and his sons.
"If we went by BDA rules, we should be taking back all the sites given away to people in this state," he says.
Yeddyurappa is also accused of favouring his daughter Umadevi in setting up a BPO. She got two acres of land on the outskirts of Bangalore.
"My daughter is eligible. She got a barren land 50 KM from Bangalore. No rule was flouted," he says.
There are also allegations of the family members getting over 5 acres of land in their home town Shimoga for a hospital and 2 acres for a factory in Bangalore.
Another 11 acres denotified in favour of his sons in March this year are now worth Rs 181 crore. Interestingly, most of these revelations are coming from Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy, who was the chief minister when Yeddyurappa was his deputy.
"They have violated every rule. I will raise it in Parliament. What is their high command in Delhi doing?" asks Kumaraswamy.
Yedyurrapa has also released documents against Kumaraswamy and Congress leaders. But a scam involving a serving chief minister clearly makes for more drama.
Interestingly, every time the BDA or the Urban Development Department advised against denotification of some land because it was against the law, Yeddyurappa immediately called for the file to his office. Order after order by Yeddyurappa's secretary gave only one direction to the Urban Development Department - 'please just post the file to the CM's office'.
So the message is very clear. It is perhaps better to marry someone in the chief minister's family to get a site allotted easily.
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