Saritha triumphs: Case booked against Speaker Bopaiah
The Lokayukta police have booked a case against Speaker of the Legislative Assembly K.G. Bopaiah, who is also the MLA representing Virajpet constituency in Kodagu district for alleged misuse of funds.
The case was booked against Bopaiah on the direction of Kodagu district and sessions judge on a complaint filed by Kodagu Zilla Panchayat member Saritha Poonacha of the Congress party.
Saritha, the rising star of the Congress in Kodagu, had recently filed the complaint in the Lokayukta Special Court alleging misappropriation in the Rs 1.20 crore tribal scheme to develop Reshmhadlu lake in Tithimathi gram panchayat limits in Virajpet taluk in 2006.
The Judge Ashok G. Nijagannavar has directed the Lokayukta police to submit a report before January 19.
Along with Bopaiah, cases have been booked against Zilla Panchayat member A. S. Rajarao, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer N. Krishnappa and Nirmiti Kendra Project Director Yoga Narasimha.
According to a media report, though the Zilla Panchayat engineering department had stated that the project was not of much use to the local residents, Bopaiah allegedly handed over the project to Nirmiti Kendra. Though the lake is located in the forest area, Bopaiah had failed to take the permission from Forest Department.
According to the complaint, though Rs 59 lakh was given to Nirmiti Kendra of which work estimated at Rs 40 lakh had been completed on paper, in reality, hardly any work was physically taken up.
It may be recalled that a couple of months ago, Sarita Poonacha was forced to leave the Zilla Panchayat meeting hall when she tried to level corruption charges against Speaker Bopaiah in the same scandal.
The ZP President Ravi Kushalappa had gone to the extent of summoning the police to remove Sarita from the meeting hall, but the latter walked out before the police could physically remove her.
The trouble was sparked off after Sarita questioned the “special interest” Bopaiah was taking in entrusting work to government-owned Nirmiti Kendra for building canals and ponds.
Meanwhile, another BJP MLA from Kodagu Appachu Ranjan has alleged that the charges against Bopaiah were politically motivated.