Soon after HD Kumaraswamy-led Karnataka government inducted two independent MLAs into the cabinet in a bid to further stabilise the government, the BJP staged a massive protest in Bengaluru’s Maurya Circle in the city centre.
Led by its state president BS Yeddyurappa, Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and key functionaries along with party workers joined the protest against the state government’s role in the Jindal land deal (JSW Steel Ltd) primarily. The BJP has warned that the protests will continue for the next two days, even as the state government has hit a pause button on its decision to give land to Jindal group’s JSW Steel Ltd in Ballari for iron ore mining.
The BJP has said that the protestors will march from Maurya Circle to the Chief Minister’s residence to make their issues heard.
At the protest on Friday, former CM Yeddyurappa was flanked by some of the major party leaders, including former Deputy CM KS Eshwarappa, senior BJP MLAs R Ashoka, CT Ravi, Bengaluru South MP Tejassvi Surya and Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP KS Eshwarappa among others.
Speaking at the protest, BJP MLA R Ashoka alleged a nexus between the Congress party and the JSW company. He said, “Congress and Jindal's groups have a close nexus and it’s an open secret. I am not surprised that the Congress has sold lands across the nation at a cheap price to Jindal. It is all a kickback game.”
“We are demanding the decision to sell the 3,700 acres of iron-ore land at such a cheap price must be reconsidered,” Tejasvi Surya said.
When told that the land deal was penned by the state government when the BJP was in power, MP Shobha Karandlaje said, “If there were any wrongdoings then, the present government must rectify it.”
At the protest, the BJP also pointed out the lack of measures to tackle drought and even urged the government to hand over the investigation in the IMA scam to the Central Bureau of Investigation.