Land acquisition halted in Gadag district

Karnataka Bureau
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Yeddyurappa says proposed POSCO steel plant will be established if farmers voluntarily give land

Extending support: The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy addressing farmers at Jantli Shirur in Mundaragi taluk on Wednesday. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Extending support: The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy addressing farmers at Jantli Shirur in Mundaragi taluk on Wednesday. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has clarified that farmers' land will not be acquired forcibly in Gadag district while directing the Deputy Commissioner of the district to stop land acquisition process immediately.

The proposed POSCO steel plant will be established if the farmers voluntarily give their dry lands in Gadag district. Otherwise, the project will be shifted to another place, said a late evening release from the Chief Minister's secretariat here on Wednesday.

“Having taken oath in the name of the farmers, I will not go against the interest of the farmers. The Government has decided to establish industries only in districts where the farmers willingly come forward to give up their lands. There is no question of acquiring the lands against the wishes of the farmers,” Mr. Yeddyurappa was quoted to have said in the statement.

Therefore, there is no necessity of strikes, protests and dharnas in connection with the land acquisition. Mr. Yeddyurappa said the government was not interested in setting up industries at the cost of farmers' interest.

Stir to continue

Hubli Staff Correspondent reports: In the wake of announcement by the Chief Minister, Tontada Siddhalinga swami has said that the movement against the land acquisition would continue till the government issued an official order rescinding the same.

He was speaking to presspersons on Wednesday night after Deputy Commissioner of Gadag Shankaranarayana met the swami at the Tontadarya Math and conveyed the Chief Minister's message to him.

The swami said the proposed convention of seers and religious heads of North Karnataka would be conducted as scheduled on Thursday.

The former Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council H.K. Patil has welcomed the move regarding the shifting of POSCO. However he urged the government to make its stand clear on the other two projects proposed to be implemented in the district, by acquiring the lands located on the foothills of the Kappatagudda.

Welcoming the Chief Minister's decision, the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has once again reiterated his demand for an inquiry into the POSCO deal. “The Chief Minister has bowed down before the collective fight of the farmers. Now he should also reveal before the people the details of the POSCO deal for which the government had signed an MoU with the company,” he said.

‘We are with you'

Earlier, the Mr. Kumaraswamy and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah held separate public meetings in Halligudi, Jantli-Shirur and Mevundi, villages that will be affected by the proposed land acquisition to extend their support to the agitation.

Both the leaders, accompanied by several other leaders of their respective political parties including the former Ministers H.K. Patil, Basavaraj Horatti, P.C. Siddanagoudar, the former MLAs B.R. Yavagal, D.R. Patil and others, addressed public meetings at the same venues in these villages in a gap of 15 minures.

Both the leaders began their visit to the district by meeting Tontada Siddhalinga Swami of Gadag Tontadarya Math, who is among the two seers heading the Bhoo Swadheena Virodhi Sangrama Samiti. After visiting the villages, both of them met Annadanishwara swami, who is the other seer heading the samiti.

While Mr. Kumaraswamy said his party would be with the farmers till the end, Mr. Siddaramaiah said his party would give a week's time to the State Government to rescind the acquisition process.


Meanwhile over 70 seers and religious heads from various districts of north Karantaka have confirmed their participation in the convention of seers.




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