Gowda demands white paper on highway project

Bangalore: As BJP sought to turn the tables on him over the Bangalore-Mysore Express Highway project, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, in the eye of a storm for using abusive language against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, today demanded a 'white paper' on the project.

The 'white paper' was necessary as it had been accused that the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise-promoted project was a "child" gifted to the state during his chief ministership in 1995 when the MoU was inked, he told reporters.

Gowda, up in arms against the project, said "Let people know what all deviations occurred since 1995 when I signed the MoU to attract FDI into the state till date."

His comments come in the wake of BJP's charge that land acquisition for the project was done by earlier JD-S and Congress regimes and Yeddyurappa government had no role in it.

Gowda, who has been accusing the BJP government of granting more land than required for the project, vowed to fight for the farmers cause in the "entire state".

"The MoU signed by me envisages allotment of 5,118 acres of land for the road project on lease, but the government has granted absolute sale deed for 1,077 acres violating the agreement provisions and ignoring the objections by PWD," he charged.

The JD-S chief said he would decide the future course of agitation after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the project. Gowda appealed his partymen not to resort to counter agitations and maintain restraint.