Special Correspondent

Yediyurappa, Shettar and Eshwarappa feel it will complete its term Yediyurappa, Shettar and Eshwarappa feel it is safe

No differences of opinion in the BJP Legislature Party: Yediyurappa BJP opposed to taking over the project from NICE: Shettar Party will hold a legislature party meeting on Sunday: Eshwarappa Cancelling the contract will affect the project: Sadananda Gowda

BANGALORE: Three Ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Revenue Minister Jagadish Shettar, and Water Resources Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said on Wednesday that differences of opinion between the ruling parties on the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project would have no impact on the coalition government, and expressed confidence that it would complete its full term.

Addressing presspersons in Gulbarga, Mr. Yediyurappa said there were no differences of opinion in the BJP Legislature Party on the BMIC project. The party and the legislators only wanted to reclaim 2,450 acres of "excess land" acquired by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd. (NICE), which is implementing the project. The BMIC issue was discussed at the legislature party meeting a few days ago, and the decision taken at the Ministers' meeting on Tuesday was in consonance with the views expressed by the legislators on the issue, he said.

Mr. Yediyurappa said the Janata Dal (Secular) was not in favour of taking over the BMIC project but only reclaiming "excess land" acquired for it. The Government was bound by the High Court and Supreme Court judgements on the project, and the legislature had powers to reclaim land, he said.

The Government, Mr. Yediyurappa said, was not fully satisfied with the interim order of the Justice Brajesh Kumar Tribunal on sharing of the additional waters available in the Krishna river. However, the Government was happy that the tribunal had rejected the pleas of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, and allowed Karnataka to store water in the Alamatti Dam at the present level of 519.6 m, he said.

In Bangalore, Mr. Shettar said the coalition partners had resolved differences of opinion on the BMIC project in a couple of days. Addressing presspersons, he said the Janata Dal (Secular) was in favour of taking over the BMIC project from NICE, but the BJP wanted to take back only excess land. The BJP was opposed to taking over the project from NICE, he said.

Mr. Shettar said there was a possibility of introducing a Bill to reclaim land from NICE and hand it over to the farmers.

He said he had no knowledge about land holdings of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, whether he had land adjacent to the proposed BMIC and whether he had filed a false affidavit before the Legislative Assembly elections in 2004.

Addressing presspersons in Davangere, Mr. K. Eshwarappa said the BJP would abide by the agreement between the Government and NICE.

He said there was no need to take the issue to the coordination committee of the two parties to evolve a consensus. The BJP would convene a legislature party meeting on Sunday to discuss the issue, he added.

`Retain contract'

In Mysore, BJP State unit president, D.V. Sadananda Gowda said his party was against nullifying the contract on the BMIC project as it would hinder the development of the State.

There were no differences of opinion between the BJP and Janata Dal (S) on this score, he added.

Addressing presspersons, he said: "We feel that nullifying the contract would affect the project at this juncture." The BJP was for the growth and development of the State, and it was against any move that would affect investments by industrialists, he added.

He said the BJP favoured identifying "excess" land awarded for the project and returning it to farmers. Mr. Sadananda Gowda said the BMIC issue could not be discussed at the Cabinet meeting as it had not been included in the agenda.

He favoured deliberations on the issue, and said: "We are confident of overcoming the problem as we want the Government to complete its full term."

He alleged that former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was trying to cause confusion on issues.