Bengaluru: Stung by criticism and protests by Opposition BJP leaders against controversial sale of land to Jindal Steel Works (JSW), industries minister, K. J. George, on Friday requested the cabinet to form cabinet sub-committee to review all aspects of the sale, but recused himself from being a part of it.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the cabinet, RDPR minister Krishna Byre Gowda said: “As there were a lot of objections and opposition to the decision to sell land, Mr George requested CM H.D. Kumarswamy to constitute a cabinet sub-committee to look in to all aspects and reconsider it. So, it was decided to form a cabinet sub-committee. But we are yet decide who will be part of such a committee.”
The decision on sale of 3,667 acres to JSW in Ballari district, faced stiff opposition from senior Congress senior leader, H. K. Patil. Subsequently, BJP leaders too demanded scrapping of the sale. "On the request of industries minister the cabinet has given its approval to constitute a sub-committee, which will review it at the earliest, and report to the cabinet," the minister added.
The composition of the cabinet sub-committee has been left to the discretion of Chief Minister, he said, adding that "though a majority view of the cabinet was that its decision is right, but in the wake of objection and opposition we are giving it for reconsideration.” The cabinet had recently decided to convert the lease of 3,667 acres to JSW Steel at Ballari into sale, in accordance with the initial agreement. The issue came up in the cabinet for discussion on Friday as Mr Kumaraswamy sought the subject to be discussed again in the cabinet after consultations with DyCM G Parameshwar and Mr George.
Accusing the state government of selling land to the company at a throwaway price, the BJP has commenced a two-day round-the-clock sit-in on Friday. State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday had even accused the coalition of receiving "kickbacks" for the sale of land.
Amid the row, JSW chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal said the firm never does anything “illegal” or “disadvantage” the people of state....