Fresh corruption salvo aimed at Gowda family

Clan on receiving end as retired engineer moves Lokayukta court against Balakrishne Gowda, accusing him of amassing wealth disproportionate to his income

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, who had managed to pull B S Yeddyurappa to court on graft charges, is now at the receiving end with a city-based engineer moving the Lokayukta court against his eldest son, accusing him of amassing wealth not proportionate to known sources of income.

S N Balakrishna, a retired engineer with Bhadravathi Iron Ore Company, filed a private petition in the Lokayukta special court, accusing H D Balakrishne Gowda of corruption. Lokayukta Judge Justice K N Sudindra Rao will decide whether to admit the petition on September 24.

When asked by the judge what he was expecting from the petition, Balakrishna replied, "Corruption is rampant these days. It is suffocating the atmosphere, and my petition is an effort to curb it."

Act of vengeance
Political circles are now abuzz with speculations that this is a retaliatory move by former CM Yeddyurappa against the Gowda family.
For, lawyers Sirajin Basha and K N Balaraj  have alleged instigation by Deve Gowda. Yeddyurappa was prosecuted after these lawyers obtained Governor's sanction, following which city-based lawyer Vinod Kumar had filed private complaints against former CM H D Kumaraswamy and his MLA wife Anitha with separate graft charges against them. The couple was then granted anticipatory bail from the HC, while the trial is on in the Lokayukta court.

Now however, Balakrishna's petition has come as a fresh blow to the Gowda family.

Balakrishne was a KAS officer before he took VRS in 2005 and speculations are rife that he could enter electoral politics. His name cropped up as the JD(S) candidate for the Channapatna by-polls held recently and he is said to have stepped aside, owing to family politics with Kumaraswamy vehemently opposing his candidature.

Well prepared!
The Deve Gowda camp is pointing fingers at Yeddyurappa accusing him of attempting to scuttle Balakrishne's prospects, while maligning the Gowda clan.

"This is all the handiwork of Yeddyurappa and you please ask him why he is doing it. I was a government officer and my service was unblemished. I am ready to face them so let them prove what wrong I have done," said Balakrishne.

Rumour has it that road builder Ashok Kheny, who is b te noire to Deve Gowda, had furnished documents to Balakrishna against the Gowda family to settle scores, but he denied the charges when contacted.

He said, "It is not difficult to prove that the Gowda family is into amassing wealth illegally. I did not and need not provide any material."

Balakrishna has alleged in his petition that Blakrishne Gowda was worth Rs 10 crore with an annual income of Rs 10 lakh when he took VRS in 2005, and now his assets are worth over Rs 500 crore.

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