BJP govt to examine previous govt's land sale to JSW

The logo of JSW. Reuters file photo

 The BJP government in Karnataka will examine and take a decision on the previous coalition government's proposal regarding the sale of 3,667 acres to JSW Steel at Ballari.

The BJP while in opposition had opposed the move and even had staged protest against the then government's decision. "I will look into it and discuss with officials regarding it..did they (cabinet sub-committee formed in the previous government on the issue) do any activities regarding it or not, is there any report, all those things I will take that file and examine," Minister for Large & Medium Scale Industries Jagadish Shettar said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said he was not in a position to comment on the issue at the moment as he is yet to go through the files. "We will examine it..then the law department had opposed the move, why it had opposed everything has to be examined and we will take a decision," he added.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition cabinet in May had decided to convert the lease of 3,667 acres to JSW Steel at Ballari into the sale, in accordance with the initial agreement.

However, amid a row over the decision that drew opposition from various quarters, also the BJP and within, the cabinet once again discussed the issue on June 14 and decided to refer it to a cabinet sub-committee.

Accusing the coalition government of selling the land to the company at a throwaway price (Rs 1.22-1.50 lakh per acre), the BJP had held a two-day round-the-clock sit-in.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who was then the State BJP president, had even accused the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition of getting "kickbacks" for the sale of land.

Causing embarrassment to the coalition, senior Congress leader H K Patil had opposed the sale by writing a series of letters to the government.

He had maintained that the company had been accused of illegal mining and it owed dues to the government and state-run Mysore Minerals Ltd.

Amid the row, JSW Steel chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal had said the firm never "does anything illegal or disadvantage" to the people of Karnataka.

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