‘Should I give up my land because I am CM?’ asks Siddaramaiah, rejects BJP demand for CBI probe into MUDA row

He said that if the authorities were ready to pay a compensation of ₹62 crore, he was ready to give up the allotted land.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 04, 2024 | 7:02 PM Updated Jul 04, 2024 | 7:13 PM

Karnataka MUDA scam

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday, 4 July, rejected BJP’s demand for a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in allotment of sites to land losers, including his wife Parvathi, by Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA), as he stoutly denied any wrongdoing.

Terming the allegations against him by the Opposition party as “political”, he questioned whether his family has to give up their land, just because as he is chief minister.

He said that if the authorities were ready to pay a compensation of ₹62 crore, he was ready to give up the allotted land.

The BJP has alleged that alternative sites were also allotted to Parvathi in an upmarket area in Mysuru, which had higher property value as compared to the location of her land which had been “acquired” by the MUDA, and sought his resignation.

The MUDA had allotted plots to Parvathi under a 50:50 ratio scheme in lieu of over three acres of her land, where MUDA developed a residential layout.

The controversial scheme envisages allotting 50 percent of developed land to the land loser in lieu of undeveloped land acquired for forming layouts.

Also Read: BJP leaders take out protest march to Karnataka chief minister’s residence

BJP allegations

The BJP has alleged that irregularities to the tune of ₹4,000 crore had taken place in distribution of sites to land losers by MUDA.

“Apparently 4,500-5,000 sites were allotted by flouting norms,” a BJP leader claimed.

The BJP staged a protest in Mysuru — the chief minister’s home district — on Thursday and tried to lay siege to the MUDA office there, but the police detained the party workers and released them later.

“Have they (BJP) given any case (to CBI) during their tenure? I have given seven cases (including his earlier tenure as CM). This is not a case that is to be given to CBI…we too had demanded, did they give (Any case to CBI for probe),” Siddaramaiah said in response to a question on BJP demanding for a CBI probe.

According to official sources, the chief minister, at a Cabinet meeting Thursday, tried to justify himself, stating that he has “nothing in this.”

Later, once again speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah called BJP’s allegations “political”, and said the party “doesn’t have any other matter, and they were protesting, as per RSS’ instructions.”

Blames RSS

“RSS is tutoring them. There is no issue. Where is the issue in MUDA? They (MUDA) have occupied 3 acres and 16 guntas (one acre is 40 guntas) of our land, formed sites and layout over it and have allocated them to people. Let them give compensation, taking back the plots given to us in lieu of our land. Let them give ₹62 crore compensation for taking our 3 acres and 16 guntas,” he said.

“..our 3 acres and 16 guntas land has been illegally encroached by MUDA. At its meeting, MUDA accepted its mistake. So they have given us the plots, we agreed for 50:50 (ratio scheme), actually they had to give us 3 acres and 16 guntas land in return — land to land,” he said, clarifying that his family did not seek for plots in a particular locality.

Further noting that the plots were given to his family by MUDA in 2021, and BJP was in power back then, Siddaramaiah said, “they (BJP) are the ones who gave the site, now if they themselves call it illegal, how should one take it? We did not ask for sites to be given in Vijayanagar 3rd or 4th stage (in Mysuru).”

“…taking away our land, a layout with sites and parks were made on it, and those sites were allocated to others. Should we give up our 3 acres and 16 guntas land as I’m the Chief Minister?” he asked, accusing the BJP of making “political” allegations.

Asks for compensation

Noting that as a matter of fact, the Urban Development Minister BS Suresha had in October, 2023 itself had written to the authorities to cancel the 50:50 scheme, the chief minister, in response to a question, said: “Let them give us ₹62 crore as compensation as per law, which is the market price of our land (taken over by MUDA). The value of the site given to us is less than that.”

“What I’m now given (by MUDA) is 14 sites, in lieu of 3 acres and 16 guntas of our land. One acre is 44,000 sq ft, I have been given less than that — 38,264, which is less…..” he said, but added that he doesn’t know about the current market value of sites given to him now. “Will have to check that.”

Suresha has ordered a probe by a four-member committee.

The chief minister on Wednesday said housing sites allotted by MUDA under the 50:50 scheme to land losers have been put on hold pending an investigation into the alleged irregularities.

Also Read: “Instability” of Congress government becomes highlight of Karnataka BJP Executive meeting

Questions what his role was

He has also said he wouldn’t resign. “What role do I have in this case?” he had asked.

Home Minister G Parameshwara said the alleged irregularities in the allotment of residential sites by MUDA are being probed, and noted that the Chief Minister has already given clarification.

On BJP demanding CBI probe, he said, “if everything is given to CBI, then there is nothing to do here. They (BJP) are asking for a CBI probe for everything….”

To a question on the BJP planning to raise the MUDA irregularities issue in the coming Legislature session, Parameshwara said: “Whatever issues they raise the government will respond to them effectively, without any hesitation.”

“We don’t know what issues they are planning to raise, they will have to give a notice to the Speaker on the issues they raise. We don’t know what their priorities are,” the Minister said.

(With PTI inputs)

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