The BJP in Karnataka Sunday alleged that the Congress-JDS coalition has received “kickbacks” for selling 3,667 acres of land, having rich deposits of iron ore, to JSW steel company in Ballari district.
The comments by Karnataka BJP Chief B S Yeddyurappa have come a day after chairman and managing director of the steel giant, Sajjan Jindal said that the company never does anything “illegal” or “disadvantage” the people of the state.
“We will be holding a three-day protest in Bengaluru against government’s decision to sell 3,667 acres of land to Jindal at Rs 1.22 lakh per acre,” Yeddyurappa told reporters in Yadgir.
“If the decision is not taken back and if the need arises, we have decided to hold a state-wide protest also,” added the veteran Bharataiya Janata Party leader.
Asked whether any kickback was received by the coalition government, he said, “If not, why will they do it? After the Lok Sabha elections the first thing they did in the cabinet meeting was giving away over 3,600 acres of land… H K Patil (Congress leader) has also opposed it.”
To another query on who received the kickbacks, Yeddyurappa said, “Who else? those running the government.”
The state cabinet had recently decided to convert the lease of 3,667 acres land to JSW Steel in Ballari district into sale, in accordance with the initial agreement.
Accusing the government of selling the land to the company at a throwaway price, Yeddyurappa had already announced that the BJP would stage a three-day Satyagraha in the city opposing the decision from June 13.
Embarrassing the coalition, senior Congress leader H K Patil has been opposing the move by writing a series of letters to the state government.
He has maintained that the company has been accused of indulging in “illegal mining” and that it owed dues to the government and the state-run Mysore Minerals Ltd.
Meanwhile, Congress sources said Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is expected to intervene in the matter soon.