The Union government bowed down to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who had demanded lifting of the ban on cotton export, a BJP minister on Tuesday said in the state Assembly.
State Water Resources minister Nitin Patel made this claim during the question-answer session in the Assembly.
He was replying to a question, asked by BJP MLA from Bayad in Sabarkantha Udaysinh Zala on the government's efforts for groundwater recharging in Sabarkantha district.
"It was because of chief minister Narendra Modi's letter, that the Union government had to roll back its decision of banning cotton exports. The Centre has bowed down to the chief minister's letter," Patel claimed.
Patel made this claim after some of the Congress MLA interrupted him, while he was giving details of the water recharging and hand-pumps installed in the tribal areas.
The Congressmen alleged that the government was acting unfairly towards the tribals and poor farmers.
Patel alleged that it was the Congress-led UPA government that was "anti-farmers", as they had banned cotton export.
Congress further alleged that the government had issued a notification that if a hand-pump was to be installed on a private land, the land has to be first surrendered to the government.
To this, Patel said that one MLA from the Congress was found to be "misusing funds" to get hand-pumps installed on his land and for other purposes, which is why, the government issued a notification in November last year.
Congress MLA Ashwin Kotwal from Khedbhramha, Sabarkantha dismissed Patel's claims saying water in checkdams of the district had helped in recharging groundwater.
Throwing a challenge to the minister, Kotwal said that he is willing to resign as MLA, if Patel showed him one checkdam in Sabarkantha filled with water.