Bhopal: As election campaign reaches its last leg in Madhya Pradesh, Congress has raked in the Rafale controversy, alleging that hundreds of acres of land worth crore of rupees were sanctioned to the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence and Aerospace Private Ltd in the state at throw-away prices in which zero investment has been made so far.
A letter by Madhya Pradesh Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (MPAKVN), dated July 26, 2016, clearly states that ‘76 acres of land in Bairagarh and Peepalner village were sanctioned to Reliance Defence and Aerospace Private Ltd on 75 per cent rebate from the current market rate for 99 years. The company should deposit Rs 4.71 crore as soon as possible which is 25 per cent of total cost of the land pegged at Rs 18.92 crore. So, the further paper work can be initiated.’
The Congress’ communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala levelled allegations against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government for giving special treatment to Anil Ambani-owned Reliance by giving premium land to his company at a throw-away price, but Ambani has turned his back.
Surjewala claimed “The premium land which is close to the Bhopal airport has been given to the Reliance on throwaway price for setting up factory but neither company deposited a single penny nor constructed a pillar there.”
In addition to that, a chunk of 195.82 acres was sanctioned to Reliance Defence in Pithampur, SEZ of Indore district for setting up a defence park. Showing another letter of MPAKVN, dated February 11, 2016, Surjewala said the land cost at 25% of premium was estimated Rs 13.22 crore. But in both the cases, Reliance has not turned up.
Besides Madhya Pradesh, Reliance has also occupied 289 acres in Nagpur to build an aerospace park that will consist of assembly lines and manufacturing facilities for fixed-wing aircraft on August 28, 2015, but due to the alleged scam in the Rafale deal and since the issue has taken a political colour, all the projects are at a standstill.
The Assembly election will be held on November 28 in Madhya Pradesh, where Bharatiya Janata Party has been in power since 2003. The results will be declared on December 11.
Global Investor Summit a Flop Show: Congress
Lambasting the Shivraj Chouhan government for wasting crores of money in the branding of Global Investor’s Summits which had zero outcome, Congress alleged that the BJP government had these summits just to gain publicity.
According to state government data, between 2007 and 2016, the Madhya Pradesh government organised 12 investor summits and signed 6,821 memoranda of understanding or intention with investment proposals worth Rs 17.5 lakh crore. However, less than 10% of these proposals have taken off.
Congress also alleged that in total 12 investor, “The government claimed to have attracted 6,821 investors and project proposals worth Rs 17.5 lakh crore. However, not even Rs 50,000 was invested," claimed Surjewala.
"By 2012, the state had organised 10 such summits and 1,238 proposals worth over Rs 8.9 lakh crore were made. But only 273 investments materialised and the amount of investment was not even 10 per cent of what the government claimed. Of the 5,583 investment proposals were inked, but according to the government report till 2018, hardly 224 of these projects actually took off", he said.
Responding to Congress allegations, BJP state spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said that MP had a tagline of Bimaru state when BJP came to power in 2003. The first five years were invested in setting up basic infrastructure. Then the government started inviting industries and the industrial graph of the state started going up.
"There has been a 250% rise in number of cold storages in the state. As many as 80 big and small IT firms have been set up in MP. The Vindhya region has emerged as a power hub. Automobiles industries are coming up. Congress leaders should visit the state before making statements," Agrawal added.