Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati ended her battle with the UPA, especially with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday by re-allotting the controversial 189.25-acre land for the railway coach factory in Rae Bareli.
She told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that the government had cancelled the October 11 order because of some irregularities in the process. “The Cabinet had not then approved the allotment,” she said, adding the allotment by sale was for 90 years.
Mayawati, however, blasted the Congress for their political drama on the issue. She wanted to know why Sonia did not perform Bhoomi Pujan on October 14, when the Railways had acquired 940 acres and a Gazette notification was issued on September 25.
Claiming that the row over Bhoomi Pujan was politically motivated, she said, “The Congress was more interested in conspiracy than development of Rae Bareli and Amethi.”
She also shot off a letter to PM Manmohan Singh — with a copy to Sonia — demanding a special package of Rs 5,000 crore to restart the factories in Rae Bareli and Sultanpur. She said Sonia should impress upon Singh for the special package for the Rae Bareli-Sultanpur-Jagdishpur industrial belt where the situation was grave.
Noting that “the Congress is not interested in development”, she said the Cabinet had taken the decision on the basis principal secretary Netram’s report, who visited Rae Bareli on Thursday to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, the Congress said Mayawati backtracked due to pressure of the people, accusing her of wasting funds on building her statues and parks. “The matter is in the court and we would have won from there also,” said Congress spokesman Mohan Prakash.
On Mayawati’s demand for a package of Rs 5,000-crore, he said, “First, the money which the Centre has given to UP should be accounted for...She is spending money on erecting her statues and building parks rather than development.”