With Kheny in Cong ship, action unlikely on BMIC ‘scam’ report

Bidar South MLA and businessman Ashok Kheny joining the ruling Congress seems to be the final nail in the coffin as far as the legislature committee report on irregularities in Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project is concerned.

Kheny is the Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited (NICE), the promoter of the controversial project. In December 2016, an 11-member panel headed by Law Minister T B Jayachandra found large-scale irregularities in the implementation of the project and recommended its take over by the state government.

The committee sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into shortcomings in the project implementation. The report is likely to be kept on the back burner.

The Congress is unlikely to implement any of the recommendations of the report even if it comes back to power as Kheny has now got the backing of party strongman D K Shivakumar. It is another matter that Kheny has good connections with the BJP also.

For his part, Kheny has been trying to strike a positive chord with the Congress for some time now. He voted for the Congress candidate during the Rajya Sabha polls in 2016.

He rarely spoke against the ruling dispensation in the Assembly.

The Congress observers feel that it is just a matter of time that the opposition in the party over Khenys induction dies down. “Legislators in whose constituencies farmers lost their land to the BMIC project are protesting. They have no option but to oppose”, a party functionary, who did not want to be named, said.

BJP angle

Interestingly, the BJP has only registered a token protest on the induction of Kheny into the Congress. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa was pretty slow in reacting to the development. Both Yeddyurappa and Kheny belong to the dominant Lingayat community. Kheny is said to have helped Yeddyurappa when mining baron
G Janardhana Reddy and others rebelled against him in 2009 when he was the chief minister. BJP members on the BMIC House panel are also silent. The legislature panel had noted that large parcels of land in BMIC project were owned by proxy (benami) by one Rudresh. Rudresh contested on the BJP ticket from Ramanagara Assembly constituency in 2009 and is said to be close to Kheny as well as Yeddyurappa.

The only strong voice in the BJP against Khenys induction into the Congress was that of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.
“Ashok Kheny, who was accused of land grabbing along Mysuru-Bengaluru Highway, was to be jailed by Karnataka CM @siddaramaiah. Instead he has been taken into the Congress. This proves what PM @narendramodi Ji had said i.e. @siddaramaiah govt is a #SeedaRupaiyaSarkar,” (sic) Javadekar tweeted.

Bidar South MLA and businessman Ashok Kheny joining the ruling Congress seems to be the final nail in the coffin as far as the legislature committee report on irregularities in Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project is concerned.

Kheny is the Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited (NICE), the promoter of the controversial project. In December 2016, an 11-member panel headed by Law Minister T B Jayachandra found large-scale irregularities in the implementation of the project and recommended its take over by the state government.

The committee sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into shortcomings in the project implementation. The report is likely to be kept on the back burner.

The Congress is unlikely to implement any of the recommendations of the report even if it comes back to power as Kheny has now got the backing of party strongman D K Shivakumar. It is another matter that Kheny has good connections with the BJP also.

For his part, Kheny has been trying to strike a positive chord with the Congress for some time now. He voted for the Congress candidate during the Rajya Sabha polls in 2016.

He rarely spoke against the ruling dispensation in the Assembly.

The Congress observers feel that it is just a matter of time that the opposition in the party over Kheny’s induction dies down. “Legislators in whose constituencies farmers lost their land to the BMIC project are protesting. They have no option but to oppose”, a party functionary, who did not want to be named, said.

BJP angle

Interestingly, the BJP has only registered a token protest on the induction of Kheny into the Congress. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa was pretty slow in reacting to the development. Both Yeddyurappa and Kheny belong to the dominant Lingayat community. Kheny is said to have helped Yeddyurappa when mining baron
G Janardhana Reddy and others rebelled against him in 2009 when he was the chief minister. BJP members on the BMIC House panel are also silent. The legislature panel had noted that large parcels of land in BMIC project were owned by proxy (benami) by one Rudresh. Rudresh contested on the BJP ticket from Ramanagara Assembly constituency in 2009 and is said to be close to Kheny as well as Yeddyurappa.

The only strong voice in the BJP against Kheny’s induction into the Congress was that of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.
“Ashok Kheny, who was accused of land grabbing along Mysuru-Bengaluru Highway, was to be jailed by Karnataka CM @siddaramaiah. Instead he has been taken into the Congress. This proves what PM @narendramodi Ji had said i.e. @siddaramaiah govt is a #SeedaRupaiyaSarkar,” (sic) Javadekar tweeted.

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