Bengaluru: BJP Karnataka Chief BS Yeddyurappa along with some party leaders sat on an all-night dharna in Bengaluru, reportedly against the JSW land deal. Notably, the BJP has alleged that the JD(S)-Congress led state government would get kickbacks once the deal is finalized.

The two-day round-the-clock sit-in protest by the BJP was against the sale of 3,667 acres of land to JSW Steel at a “throwaway” price. Last month, the state government had approved the lease-cum-sale deed of land to JSW Steel during a cabinet meeting. According to a report, the selling price was fixed at Rs 1.22 lakh per acre for a 2,00-acre parcel and Rs 1.50 lakh for another 1,667 acres.

Besides, the dharna was staged as a mark of protest against the state government’s insensitivity to the victims of an alleged Ponzi scheme fraud besides the prevailing drought situation.

Addressing a gathering at the Anand Rao Circle (venue of the protest), the BJP state president Yeddyurappa said, “Our agitation pertains to three issues sale of land to JSW Steel, IMA Jewels Ponzi scheme scam, drought situation.”

Speaking about the farm loan waiver, the BJP president said, “Our main contention is that the farm loan waiver has been dumped in the cold storage.” Yeddyurappa added, “They (government) said they would waive loans of Rs 46,000 crore but so far not even Rs 3,000 crore loan has been waived. In some areas, the loan amount has been taken back.”

He alleged that the government was insensitive towards the prevailing drought situation and drinking water crisis in large regions of the state.”Drought is intense but nobody has gone to see the condition of the farmers. The chief minister is not coming out of his comfort zone and is meeting only the businessmen. Now he is going to villages under his Grama Vastavya (village stay) programme. People will not appreciate it,” Yeddyurappa claimed. He also sought to know how much money released by the Centre for the drought-affected areas has been spent.

Hundreds of BJP workers took out a rally on Friday morning and reached the venue. Holding placards, posters, banners and party flags, the party workers raised slogans.

Former deputy chief ministers R Ashok, K S Eshwarappa, MLAs Govind Karjol, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, MPs Umesh Jadhav, Shobha Karandlaje and many senior leaders joined the protest. The party said Ashok, Karjol and Jadhav will be among the leaders who would stay with Yeddyurappa Friday night at the protest venue.

(With PTI inputs)