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Move for new JD(S) office caught in legal tangle

Move for new JD(S) office caught in legal tangle
Bengaluru: After losing a legal suit against the Congress to retain its office, the JD(S) has decided to erect a temporary shed behind the party office on Race Course Road.

But the move has become mired in controversy with Ramalingeshwara Mutt asking the party to stop construction and maintain the status quo as per a court order. In a dramatic development on Tuesday, former prime minister and JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda decided to build the shed on the disputed land.

He performed the bhoomi puja and monitored the deweeding and levelling of the entire 19,000 sqft area.

The party workers were quick to interpret Gowda’s decision as a move to gain sympathy. “Probably, he wants to convey a message that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was earlier the JD(S) president, snatched the office,” one of the office-bearers told Express.

Meanwhile, Rajanna, the advocate representing Ramlingeshwara Mutt in Harnahally in Shivamogga, handed over a court order to party working president Narayana Rao. Rajanna claimed that the land was donated to the mutt by the Mysuru Wadiyars. The JD(S) had sought permission from the mutt to use the space for parking in 2013, he said. Rao said the party was only making a temporary arrangement and would vacate after finding a new office.

However, Rajanna insisted that any construction would lead to violation of court orders besides hurting sentiments of the community.

The advocate said the mutt had applied for a khata with Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike in which the JD(S) was also made a party. Later the court had asked both the mutt and the JD(S) to retain the status quo, Rajanna said.

Last year, Gowda had said the party was waiting for the outcome of the Congress’ petition filed in the Supreme Court directing the JD(S) to vacate the office. “If the court asks us to vacate, we have to do it. In such a case, we will shift to the temporary shed until we find new office space,” he had said.

“I tried to contact KPCC president G Parameshwara and seek more time to vacate, but he is travelling,” he said. “I had applied for a site five years ago. The government is yet to act on it. Even when Siddaramaiah was the deputy chief minister, he had asked the government to allot a plot to the JD(S). Today, he is the chief minister and it is at his discretion.”

HC extends stay on land allotment

The High Court on Tuesday extended till February 3 the stay on the allotment of land for the construction of a JD(S) office near Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Vyalikaval in the city. The JD(S) was building a new office on an area granted to it by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) after it vacated its premises on Race Course Road following a Supreme Court order. Petitioner K G Chandrashekhar Bhat has contended that the allotted land was originally granted to his mother, who had served the Mysuru royal family.

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