In a major embarrassment to Madhya Pradesh government ahead of Global Investors Summit, Tata Group company officials have complained to the chief secretary about misbehaviour of state agriculture director when they met him to discuss a project.
The state principal secretary (agriculture) Rajesh Rajora has issued a show-cause notice to the agriculture director Dr DN Sharma who allegedly used abusive language and later asked the company officials to leave his office.
The government is to sign a MoU with Rallis India, a Tata Group company, to improve production of pulses on 25,000 hectares in four districts of Madhya Pradesh under a public-private partnership (PPP) project.
However, when a team of company officials led by Ajay Kumar Verma went to meet the agriculture director, they were made to wait for a long time, the officials said in a written complaint to the principal secretary. Finally, when the meeting began, the agriculture director first made some sarcastic remarks and later asked the officials to leave his office, the complainants said. The incident took place on August 26 and the government issued the notice on August 28.
However, agriculture director DN Sharma has refuted the allegation. "It was a case of misunderstanding and there was no misbehaviour on my part. We have always welcomed the public-private partnerships in the state," he said.
The company officials also registered their complaint with chief minister's principal secretary Iqbal Singh Bains who later called up the agriculture director to express his displeasure over the incident.
Under Rallis India's More Pulses Project, the company advises farmers on cultivation methods, from soil preparation stage to crop management to harvest. Rallis also procures the produce and brings it for retail consumption in a high-quality packaged form. It is also planning a buy back from farmers in Madhya Pradesh for export. The project has been successful in Maharashtra where yields have gone up from 300-700 kg per acre.