DNA | Last Modified - Nov 29, 2011, 04:04 AM IST
Bangalore: BBMP commissioner Siddaiah seems to have fallen 'victim' to the November 19 fire that gutted sensitive files in Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) office. In a sudden move on Monday, the state government shunted Siddaiah out of BBMP, replacing him with transport department principal secretary MK Shankarlinge Gowda as the new BBMP commissioner.
Siddaiah made way for Gowda at 4:00 pm on Monday in the BBMP commissioner's chamber in such a hurry that even the media was left out of it. Siddaiah's ouster from BBMP commissioner's post appears to be a desperate move by the state government to scuttle the investigations into the multi-crore bogus bills scam.
The mayor, deputy mayor and all corporators, cutting across party lines, had a marathon meeting with city-based ministers on Sunday evening to finally decide on transferring Siddaiah out of BBMP without any further delay.
"Every corporator in the meeting had opined that Siddaiah had made a mistake by assigning the scam probe to BMTF. He should have first discussed the issue with the chief minister or the home minister (when Mayor Sharadamma was in New York), instead of directly handing it over to BMTF to conduct a probe. Earlier, any such irregularities were subjected to judicial inquiry. While the irregularities (the bogus bills scam) were committed, there was no elected council at the time (2004-2010) and the civic body was under the charge of an administrator. Many corporators were under pressure from some city-based MLAs to scuttle the probe," a senior corporator told.
The BJP government under Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, which is still struggling with its damaged image over land scams and political infighting, was determined to avert further trouble.
After Siddaiah handed over the probe into the Rs 1,539 crore bogus bill scam (in the wards falling in Malleswaram, Gandhinagar and Rajarajeshwarinagar assembly constituencies) to BMTF, he was summoned to explain his 'hasty' decision.