Environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said he was pained at being projected as a 'villain' of the Posco project and sought to know the fate of the MoU between Orissa government and the South Korean steel major, which had lapsed almost a year ago.
"I am very pained personally that I am projected as anti-Orissa. I am being held as 'Khalnayak' of the Posco project.
This is completely bogus argument made by people who have no other way to hide their misdeeds," Ramesh told reporters here.
"Where is the MoU between the Orissa government and the company? ...There is also no raw material linkage for the project yet," he said.
According environmental clearance was unheard of to a major project having no raw material linkage, he said, adding that conditional environmental clearance has been granted to the Rs 52,000-crore Posco project.
Stating that issues relating to Posco and Vedanta projects were "simple", the minister said he had been doing nothing other than upholding the law of the land.
"It is not my duty to stop projects, but to ensure that the ventures come up in a better environment."
Ramesh said chief ministers of Congress-ruled states like Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi were "more unhappy" with him as he had issued a number of notices.
He said he had cleared the Brutang irrigation project in Orissa's Nayagarh district, despite opposition from environmentalists.
"I believe that irrigation is most essential for the farmers in that locality."