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Bill passed by Karnataka to set up Chanakya University; Congress terms it 'Land Scam'

On Wednesday, Karnataka Legislative Council passed a bill named 'The Chanakya University Bill, 2021.' Congress party has termed the bill a major 'Land Scam' and alleged the bill grants about 116.16 acres of land next to Bengaluru Airport to an organization linked to RSS.

Amid massive protests from opposition parties, especially the Congress party, the Karnataka Legislative Council, on Wednesday, passed 'The Chanakya University Bill, 2021.' Earlier, the bill, on Tuesday, was adopted in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. 

A heated argument erupted between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress during the discussion over the bill. The Congress MLCs asked the ruling dispensation that Why valuable land near the International Airport was given away at such a low price to a private university. The MLCs further alleged that the land was given to an organization that has close ties with RSS. This was countered by the treasury benches as they asked “What is the harm in giving it to an organization having links to RSS, should it be given to Italians?”

Earlier the bill was brought in the ongoing monsoon session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. State's Higher Education Minister, Dr. Ashwath Narayan tabled the bill to allow Chanakya University to be set up in 116 acres of land in Aerospace Park near Devanagari, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The Congress was against this and former CM and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that there was no provision to give the land for setting up a university as the land has already been acquired by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for the purpose of giving it to industries. Siddaramaiah also dubbed this move as 'Land Scam.'

While addressing the media, he said “This is land acquired from farmers in this area. About 116.16 acres of land are being given away for just Rs 50 crore. In the same region, the KIADB had purchased land from farmers at Rs 1.5 crore per acre-the government has spent over 175 crores just to buy the same piece of land, and under normal circumstances, it should have cost Rs 300 to 400 crore for anyone wanting to purchase it.”

He further said, “Why all the persons associated with the university have an RSS background and why the government is giving lands at such a low price.”

BJP had maintained its position and defended the move. Law Minister JC Madhu Swamy said it was aimed at giving education to people and there was no loss to the exchequer.  The bill was passed in the Legislative Council via a voice vote amid Congress and JDS walking out of Council in protest. 

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