Caught in a row over the controversial JSW Steel land sale, the Karnataka cabinet Friday decided to defer its decision on the sale of 3,667 acres to the firm at Ballari, to a cabinet sub-committee for reconsideration. As there were a lot of objections and opposition to the decision to sell the land, the minister concerned (Industries Minister K J George) requested the Chief Minister to constitute a cabinet sub-committee to look into all aspects and reconsider it, Rural development minister Krishna Byre told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
"On the request of the Industries Minister the cabinet today has given its approval to constitute a sub-committee, which will review it at the earliest and report back to the cabinet," Gowda said. The composition of the cabinet sub-committee has been left to the discretion of the Chief Minister, he said, adding that "though the maximum view of the cabinet was that its decision is right, in the wake of objection and opposition we are giving it for reconsideration." The Karnataka cabinet had recently decided to convert the lease of 3,667 acres to JSW Steel at Ballari into the sale, in accordance with the initial agreement.
The issue came up in the cabinet for discussion Friday as Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy after consulting with Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and George had asked for the subject to be placed before the cabinet once again for reconsideration. Accusing the government of selling the land to the company at a throwaway price, the BJP has commenced a two-day round-the-clock sit-in Friday.
State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday had even accused the ruling Congress-JDS coalition of getting "kickbacks", for the sale of land. Causing embarrassment to the coalition, senior Congress leader H K Patil has been opposing the sale, by writing a series of letters to the government.
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