Bangalore, Nov 21 : Former Prime Minister H D Devegowda today said that state government officials had to be blamed for alleged irregularities in the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project, being executed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE).
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Devegowda said that the then Chief Secretary, PWD Secretary and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, among other key officials, are the 'main culprits'. Politicians might have been under work-pressure and he does not want to talk about their role. These officials guide and advise the Chief Minister and 'they should take responsibility' (for irregularities)', he said.'I don't know anything (regarding the project) after I quit as Chief Minister and became Prime Minister on June one, 1996', he claimed.
Controversies and issues of alleged irregularities over implementation of the project, which was cleared in early 1990s, has persisted for several years now. Yesterday, Mr Gowda sought to implead himself in the petitions filed by NICE and others before the Karnataka High Court challenging the Special Lokayukta Court's order for conducting a probe into the alleged irregularities.
Mr Gowda, a former Karnataka Chief Minister, who has been named prime accused in an FIR registered by the Lokayukta police, said that he wanted to implead himself because he wanted the probe to continue. He also alleged that NICE has entered into a joint development deal with a company vis-a-vis part of the land as well as areas meant for roads in violation of an original agreement, which barred it from doing so as land was given on lease.