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Soz should resign: CM

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 12:56 IST

CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh Chouhan today suggested that Union Minister for Water Resources Saif-ud-din Soz should resign on moral ground in the light of the Shunglu Committee report on Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSP) rehabilitation.

“Soz should decide whether he should continue in office or quit on moral grounds for hindering development,” he said while talking to reporters here today.

“Baseless comments made by Soz, who led the Group of Ministers (GoM) that visited dam submergence area a couple of months ago, have created confusion and posed hindrance to the rehabilitation work,” Chouhan said.

The Shunglu Committee report has clearly denied the allegations of the GoM on rehabilitation, he claimed.  The Chief Minister said neither during nor after the visit to rehabilitation sites the GoM held any discussion with the State Government and its report was leaked to media before being submitted to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

The GoM included Union Minister for Social Welfare Meira Kumar and Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan. Accusing the GoM of misinterpreting facts, the Chief Minister alleged that attempts were made to create rift between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments by projecting that negligence of Madhya Pradesh would cost dearly to Gujarat.

It was also projected that the State Government was deducting income tax from the amount of compensation to the Project Affected Families (PAF) whereas the fact was the tax was levied by the Union Government, the CM pointed out. 

He said his government would ensure rehabilitation of the PAFs in keeping with the Supreme Court’s directive. The CM praised the positive approach of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on the issue and demanded it should be inquired into as to who was behind the conspiracy to defame the government.

As many as 14,123 outstees have been rehabilitated since September 2005 whereas in the past 13 years number of project affected persons who were rehabilitated stood at 10,298.

The government had announced special compensation package for the oustees and proposed to allow them to buy their own land, he said, adding, around 1,614 oustees had lost 1,470 hectare land.

The government had purchased and provided them 3,671 hectares land, which is nearly 249 per cent of what they lost, the Chief Minister said.