Several BJP leaders in Karnataka has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for "misusing" the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) by forcing it to file "false" cases against opposition leaders, including BS Yeddyurappa, the state unit chief of the saffron party.
Deputy chief minister R Ashok and MP Shobha Karandlaje has demanded the chief minister's resignation.
Speaking to reporters, Karandlaje attacked the state government for "weakening" the institution of Lokayukta by constituting the ACB, which is controlled by the chiefminister.
"The ACB is not an autonomous body in its true sense. It takes directions from the chief minister and Siddaramaiah isusing it to target the opposition leaders by foisting falsecases against them," she alleged.
The ACB had recently filed FIRs against Yeddyurappa, accusing him of de-notifying 257 acres of land from a preliminary notification of 3,546 acres, meant for the formation of the Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout, "bypassing" the de-notifying committee's approval, when he was the chief minister between May, 2008 and July, 2011.
Karandlaje alleged that the FIRs were filed "inretaliation" to the Income Tax raids at minister D KShivakumar's property, during the stay of a number of GujaratCongress MLAs at a resort here.
She also condemned the ACB for putting pressure on thethen special land acquisition officer of the Bengaluru Development Authority, H Basavarajendra, to "frame" Yeddyurappa.
In a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala, the officer hadalleged that the ACB was putting pressure on him to give a statement against Yeddyurappa. He had also claimed that he was named as an accused inthe case because he refused to do so.
In a counter to his allegations, the ACB released a statement last night, saying it was a feeble attempt by Basa varajendra to build a false defence. Ashok said the officer's complaint proved that the FIRs against Yeddyurappa were politically motivated.
Yeddyurappa is the first chief minister in south India to step down while in office following corruption charges. He has recently been named as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate for the 2018 Karnataka Assembly polls.