The Lokayukta Police has filed an FIR against you in a land-related case. The FIR claims that as chief minister, you denotified 3.8 acres at Thanisandra in October 2007.
If people can approach the Lokayukta court on every single decision taken by the CM, then what is the real role and power of the CM? Is it possible for an ordinary inspector to inquire into administrative decisions taken by the CM?
This is the second case against you that is under probe. Now, how will you challenge BS Yeddyurappa, who was hauled up by the same agency for misusing his discretionary quota?
The case against me is not related to discretionary quota. It’s a denotification issue. The government has the power to denotify land if someone gives a representation before it. Even the Supreme Court has given a judgment that since certain projects don’t get implemented, the government can denotify the land sanctioned for it. Now even this is being questioned in the lower courts.
So you didn’t personally gain from the decision?
I took the decision in a perfectly legal way. Whatever the secretary of the department recommended, I implemented it. I don’t have any individual role in the matter.
Don’t such cases raise a question mark on your credibility as you speak out against corruption under the present government?
Yeddyurappa and his people are trying to drag me into such cases due to political vendetta. But they will not succeed. I have exposed their illegal activities, and now they want revenge. They have been trying time and again to entrap me.
You claim that Yeddyurappa is trying to frame you. But he is not even in power.
The present chief minister is a rubber stamp. Even if Yeddyurappa is not in power, he is the one who calls the shots. The officers appointed by him continue under Sadananda Gowda and implement his agenda.
Why did you support B Sriramulu in the Bellary bypoll? He has been named in an illegal mining case by the Lokayukta. He was thrown out of BJP because of corruption.
The Lokayukta report never said that Sriramulu was directly involved in illegal mining activities. Basically, Janardhana Reddy used his good name to indulge in illegal activities. We didn’t put up any candidate in the Assembly bypoll. We are fighting the BJP and Congress in Karnataka, so we requested the people to select any of the independent candidates. (Sriramulu won as an independent candidate in December 2011 after quitting the BJP.)
But your support for him indicates political opportunism.
It is not political opportunism. We wanted to teach a lesson to the Congress and the BJP.
Sriramulu is very open about his support for the Reddy brothers. Will you also support them?
That is his individual opinion. We are not supporting the Reddy brothers. He is saying so because of his personal attachment to them. Our party has nothing to do with that.
Now, Sriramulu has launched his own party and wants to wipe out the BJP. Will you enter into any arrangement with his party in the next election?
No. We will fight the next election alone and put up candidates from all seats.
Kunal Majumder is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.