Congress on Friday came under fire for engaging in “doublespeak” as BJP charged that while its vice-president Rahul Gandhi was on the one hand opposing the NDA government’s bid to improve rural infrastructure, he was attacking it over the issue of a food park project in Amethi on the other.
Accusing Mr. Gandhi of playing politics in the matter, BJP said he had done nothing to get the various clearances to enable the park in his constituency to become a reality.
“The case of Amethi food park and its cancellation is the result of a decision taken by the UPA government.
“Gandhi is playing politics on the issue. While on the one hand he is seeking setting up of the food park, he is opposing industrialisation through setting up of industrial corridors on the other that would create jobs and promote rural infrastructure,” said BJP national secretary, Shrikant Sharma, adding that it was a case of “doublespeak” by the party.
He said that the decision to cancel the Amethi food park was taken at a meeting in February, 2014, when IMAC decided that despite seven extensions, if the SPV was not able to meet all the conditions for final approval by March 31, 2014, then the project would be cancelled without further notice.
“Except for giving extensions there was no serious attempt by the previous government to make the food park a reality.
“The local Amethi MP made no effort to raise the issue with any ministry or in Parliament. The food park joins the list of projects in Amethi that lie incomplete.
“People of Amethi are remembered only during elections. They are made to remember strong familial ties, but when polls are over, nothing is done for them. This is a very sorry state of affairs,” Mr. Sharma said as he criticised Mr. Gandhi for opposing the NDA government’s move to promote industry by charging that it was “pro-corporate”.
Mr. Sharma said the NDA government, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is committed to removing all “ills” in the country and that it will fulfil the aspirations of the masses and come out with a report card on its performance after the completion of its term.
Talking about the Amethi food park, he said that the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the setting up of the same faced a series of problems that rendered the project untenable.
“SPV was not in possession of required land for the project, a key precondition for Final Approval,” he said.
It was also unable to ensure the land transfer despite seven extensions, the last of which was given till September 30, 2013.
The BJP leader said that the SPV had also applied to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for allotment of gas at subsidised rates for a captive power plant without which the project may not have been viable.
“The Petroleum Ministry never committed to giving the gas and there is not even any instance of the local MP putting in a word for the relevant permissions.
“As far as the land is concerned, permissions were required from UPSIDC,” Mr. Sharma said, adding that it was an UP government agency and that it was a party which was a key supporter of the UPA dispensation that was in power in the state.
Mr. Sharma charged that it was the UPA government which was accountable for the cancellation of the project if the SPV failed to meet the stipulated deadlines.
He said that the NDA government gave another chance to the SPV at a meeting on June 9 but, due to inordinate delays, the in-principle approval had to be cancelled.