Karnataka minister in land allotment controversy

Bangalore: Karnataka Forest Minister C P Yogeshwar has landed himself in another controversy over the allotment of a 4,000-square feet government site here allegedly in violation of rules.

Yogeshwar, already facing opposition heat for his alleged involvement in Mega City real estate project scam, has been alloted 'G' category Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) site under the chief minister's discretionary quota despite owning two houses in the city -- one in his name and another in his wife's, BDA sources said.

He had declared in July that he was alloted the BDA site in HSR Layout for Rs 8.79 lakh on March 14 this year, they said.

The Minister was not available for his reaction.

The plots are allotted at chief minister's discretion to eminent personalities. According to BDA rules, a person is eligible for allotment only if neither he nor any of his family members owned a site or house in Bangalore Metropolitan Area.

However, Yogeshwar has declared with Lokayukta that he owned a house on a 2,400 sq ft land in Banashankari IV Block here, BDA sources said.

His wife P V Sheela's house on the 2,400 sq ft of land is also at BDA Layout in Banashankari, the sources said.

This is the latest in a series of controversies that have hit the BJP Government over allotment of land. Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was accused of favouritism in allotment of a BDA plot to his MP son B Y Raghavendra.

Besides, six ministers have come under fire for receiving high-value residential plots for a 'pittance' in 2007.

S Vasudeva, a city resident, had moved the high court questioning the allotment of G category plots to 250 persons, including Ministers V S Acharya, R Ashok, M P Renukacharya, Murugesh Nirani, V H Kageri and Lakshman Savadi in 2007 when the JD(S)-BJP government was in power.

Recently Shivaraj Patil resigned as Karnataka Lokayukta in the wake of a media expose which showed that his family owned multiple residential plots in Bangalore allegedly in violation of housing co-operative society bylaws.