In another major embarrassment to the scam-hit Karnataka BJP government, law and urban development minister S Suresh Kumar submitted his resignation on Saturday after he was accused of securing a residential plot violating rules.
According to sources, chief minister Sadananda Gowda has refused to accept Suresh's resignation. Suresh met Gowda in the early hours of Saturday at his official residence.
Sources said that Suresh took this decision on the moral grounds and has written to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) over surrendering the plot allotted to him.
S Bhaskaran, a Bangalore-based RTI activist, had accused Suresh of acquiring a 'G' category site by bending laws as the accused minister hid the fact that his relatives (supposedly mother, daughter) already owned two sites and a house in Bangalore.
Suresh was granted 4000 sq feet of BDA residential plot by then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa under the discretionary quota.
However, Suresh seems to be unfazed by the allegations against him as he showed the confidence saying that he would come out clean in this issue. He said that the lands owned by his mother and daughter don't come under BDA limits. He is said to have provided all these information to the Lokayukta.
Suresh has been praised for his simplicity and has maintained a clean image so far. He has been highly regarded within his party, including the high command.
This new land scam will increase the burden for Gowda, who has already been handling 21 portfolios of other ministers who have been involved in various other controversies and either have quit or in jail.
Gowda is also facing ordeal with a prevailing internal feud, wherein Yeddyurappa and his supporters have been heckling him and undertaking all efforts to dethrone him from the chief minister post.
Earlier this week, the rebels in Karnataka BJP Cabinet dashed off a deadline for Gowda to convey a legislative meet. According to sources, Yeddyurappa camp has planned to oust Gowda and bring in rural development and panchayat raj minister, Jagadish Shettar in his place.