Updated: May 20, 2015 5:34:26 pm
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking his intervention in reviving the Amethi food park project, arguing that neither land nor availability of gas were impediments to approval of the project.
Rahul’s letter is in reply to a letter sent to him by Singh on May 7. Along with that letter, Singh had attached a note by Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal regarding cancellation of a mega food park in Jagdishpur.
Rahul has argued that Badal’s letter and the chronology of events in her note suggest that transfer of land or availability of gas at concessional rate were reasons for the cancellation.
“I am deeply dismayed to read the reasons and chronology of events contained in Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s letter. The contents of Badal’s letter confirm in writing what I had suspected all along that cancellation of the mega food park was on account of “politics of revenge” aimed at punishing the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, particularly Amethi,” he wrote a day after the Budget session of Parliament got over.
Rahul drew Singh’s attention to two points in the chronology of events in Badal’s letter. He says the letter makes it clear that the “UPSIDC approved the transfer (of land) on 23-6-2012” and “getting gas supply at concessional rate from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is not precondition of final approval.”
The Congress too has been arguing that the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation had given in-principle approval for transfer of 72 acres of land allocated by it to the Indo-Gulf Fertilisers for the food park project.
Badal, on the other hand, had been saying that the food park’s promoters had been assured of a “unique advantage” that gas from the nearby GAIL plant would be supplied at subsidised rates for a captive power plant inside the plant to run operations of the park.
Seeking Rajnath Singh’s intervention, Rahul wrote: “This mega food park would have generated employment for 30,000 to 35,000 people besides benefiting lakhs of farmers in the over-a-dozen districts of UP. Given that neither land nor gas were impediments to approval of this mega food park (according to Badal’s letter/chronology) Union ministry of food processing industries still went ahead and cancelled the approval of the mega food park on June 30, 2014, barely one month after the BJP government was sworn in.”
“Badal’s ministry also denied the Special Purpose Vehicle’s request dated June 26, 2014 and June 30, 2014 for extension of approval till September 30, 2014, which I believe is against the interests of the farmers of UP. I sincerely hope that with your profound experience you will help protect the farmers of UP, the state which you have also served as CM and ensure revival of the project,” he wrote.
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