BJP govt undecided on land-for-Jindal issue

The BJP government is undecided on the controversial sale of 3,667 acres land to the JSW Steel in Ballari cleared by the previous Congress-JD(S) regime against which the saffron party had hit the streets while in the Opposition. 

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said he was yet to take a look at the file pertaining to the Jindal land, refusing to comment on the issue. “The previous (coalition) government had formed a sub-committee to look into it. But did the sub-committee do anything at all? Did they submit a report? I will have to take the file and see. I can’t say anything without seeing the file,” Shettar told reporters. 

When the BJP was in the opposition, Shettar was among those who cried foul, smelling a scam in the H D Kumaraswamy-led government’s decision to convert the lease of the 3,667 acres into sale for the Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Steel. 

“Back then, the Law department had objected to it. I have to see why the objection was raised. I will get all the details and take a decision,” Shettar said. 

Shettar’s predecessor, K J George, had strongly defended the sale of the land in his capacity as the Industries minister while asserting that there was nothing malicious about it. Besides, the BJP, senior Congress legislator H K Patil had also raised objections. Following the backlash, a Cabinet sub-committee was formed to review the decision to convert the lease into a sale.

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