Politics v/s Development

After the Mamata v/s Buddhadev battle which led to West Bengal loosing the Tata Nano project at Singur,here's another one brewing.This time in Uttar Pradesh.The Sonia Gandhi-Mayawati battle for the political turf of Uttar Pradesh flared up months before the general election on Sunday when the BSP government in Lucknow cancelled its order for the allotment of 189.25 hectares of land for the setting up of a rail coach factory at Lalganj in Sonia Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency, Rae Bareli.The Congress president was scheduled to perform the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of the factory this Tuesday. While the land has been returned to the gram sabha, Rae Bareli district magistrate Santosh Kumar has been directed to find an alternative site for the factory.Mayawati’s principal secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey told mediapersons that the decision to cancel the allotment was taken following the Rae Bareli DM’s report that said there was great anger among the people whose land had been acquired, and that the situation in the villages concerned had turned explosive.Congress leaders cried foul, accusing Mayawati of depriving the industrially backward state of a big manufacturing unit. Congress leaders upset with Mayawati’s decision to retract the allotment of land for a rail coach factory in Rae Bareli have threatened to launch a movement to put pressure on the chief minister. “It’s unfortunate that Mayawati has denied land to the railway project at a time when other CMs are vying with each other to bring investments to their states,’’ party general secretary Digvijay Singh said. He said the Congress was considering the option of a political stir to pressure Mayawati to rethink her decision. Singh’s party colleague Abhishek Singhvi deplored the decision as a “petty political game’’ that would only harm UP. Railway minister Lalu Prasad termed Mayawati’s move a “vengeful act’’ and regretted that UP would be deprived of a major opportunity for investment and employment.It’s not just Sonia and Lalu who have had to bear with Mayawati’s maverick behaviour. Union chemical and fertiliser minister Ram Vilas Paswan, too, was at the receiving end when the temperamental BSP leader refused to allot land for the premier National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER). “We had planned to open NIPER—a premier institute for pharma research and manpower training—in UP but Mayawati refused to give land,’’ Paswan said. He added that his ministry was offering land price at competitive rates but the BSP leader was disinterested. Paswan had also planned a steel processing unit to be set up in the state but so far there has been no progress in the matter.Meanwhile, Vijay Shankar Pandey said the DM, in his report of October 10, had written that the project-affected villagers were enraged as they felt that any hope of getting the ‘patta’ of the gram sabha land in their names had ended.

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