Thursday, September 28, 2006

Land scandal finds an echo in both Houses

Land scandal finds an echo in both Houses

The Hindu

I need not resign as the charge is baseless: Chief Minister

# Congress seeks to move adjournment motion in both Houses
# Speaker Krishna rejects adjournment motion

Bangalore: The coalition Government has dismissed the land scam allegation as yet another attempt to pull down the Government and defame Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. It was, however, another matter that the Chief Minister was visibly upset with the developments. The last three

months have been marked by allegations and counter-allegations and a considerable amount of time has been spent on such matters.

The land scam topped the discussions in the two Houses of the legislature on Wednesday with the Congress led by N. Dharam Singh in the Legislative Assembly and H.K. Patil in the Legislative Council seeking to move an adjournment motion in the two Houses. Even as the preliminary submission was on, the Chief Minister said the revelation did not warrant his resignation since it was a "baseless and concocted" charge. The adjournment motion was subsequently rejected in the Assembly following a ruling by the Speaker Krishna.

Meanwhile, Governor T.N. Chaturvedi will address the special session of the legislature on Thursday. There is no change in the Governor's programme although earlier in the day it was reported that the Governor may cancel his visit following another round of allegations

being made against the Government.

Sources in the Government told The Hindu that the Minister for Home and Parliamentary Affairs M.P. Prakash spoke to the Governor who has agreed to address the session since it had been organised for the first time in Belgaum and since it also coincided with the Suvarna Karnataka celebrations.

The Governor's address will be witnessed among others by some special guests of honour invited by the State Government. The Governor is said to have himself prepared his speech, with the Government providing some inputs pertaining to certain issues confronting the State. Early in the day, Mr. Patil who had made a brief mention of the land scam in the Upper House on Tuesday, produced copies of the compact discs pertaining to the revelations of the scam made by the TV channel and released it to the legislators and the media.

Sources in the Government said that a damage control exercise had been initiated, more so, since the legislature was in session. All the requisite information pertaining to the forest land

in question and the reported encroachments therein had been collected.

On the floor of the legislature, the Government put up a bold defence. Earlier, a discussion was sought to be raised on a reply of the Governor to Mr. Patil wherein the Governor had stated that he was disturbed by the controversies and allegations and counter-allegations of corruption plaguing the coalition Government which, according to him, would affect the governance of the State.


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