JSW Steel lease row: Won't do anything illegal, says MD Sajjan Jindal

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Amid the row over the proposed move to sell 3,667 acres of government land in Ballari district to JSW Steel after expiry of lease period, the company Saturday said it never does anything "illegal" or "disadvantage" the people of Karnataka.

"JSW Steel will not do anything which is illegal, which will disadvantage the state or the people of Karnataka," JSW Steel chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal told reporters in Ballari district.

He was responding to a query on the land deal.

The MD maintained that he would not get into the argument with those questioning the sale of land, previously allotted to it on lease.

"If anybody is raising any question or linking anything with anyone, I cannot get into the discussion, because I am not qualified to discuss, but JSW never does things which are illegal," Jindal said.

The state cabinet had on May 27 decided in its meeting to part with the land in favour of the company after the lease period wasover.

The decision was taken as per the agreement between the Karnataka government and the company that once the lease period was over, the land should be sold to the company as freehold.

However, a slew of conditions were also attached, which have been violated, alleged Congress MLA and former minister H K Patil.

Patil has been objecting to the government's decision, saying the JSW owed Rs 2,000 crore, including interest, to the state-owned Mysore Mineral Limited and this was 'ignored' while making the leased land freehold in favour of the lessee.

The BJP too said it would hold agitation against the decision statewide.

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