Chhattisgarh Congress calls for Bastar bandh on day of PM Modi’s visit

Oct 01, 2023 06:58 PM IST

Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel alleged that the central government was trying hard to hand over the Nagarnar steel plant in Bastar district to private companies

The Chhattisgarh Congress has called a bandh in Bastar on Tuesday, the day on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting the district for a rally, alleging that the Centre was planning to privatise the NMDC Nagarnar steel plant here.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel. (ANI File Photo)
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel. (ANI File Photo)

Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, addressing a press conference on Sunday, announced the bandh and alleged that the central government was trying hard to hand over the Nagarnar steel plant in Bastar district to private companies. The Nagarnar Steel Plant of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a central public sector undertaking (PSU), commenced production last month.

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“In 2020, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I had urged not to privatise the upcoming steel plant and in the same year, the Chhattisgarh assembly had passed a resolution stating that the House urges the Centre not to disinvest the plant. And if it is done, the state government is ready to buy it,” Baghel said adding the Union government has inserted a clause under which the Chhattisgarh government cannot take part in the bidding process.

Baghel refuted Modi’s allegations, at a rally in Bilaspur district on Saturday, that the Chhattisgarh government was involved in various scams.

“Modi ji said that every single grain of paddy of farmers in the state is procured by the Centre. If it is so, then the Centre should release an order to purchase entire paddy from farmers of the state on support price this year,” Baghel said.

Queried about the prime minister’s promise of action against the guilty in the alleged PSC exam scam if the BJP comes to power, Baghel hit back saying the PM reads whatever is written on the prompter.

“If anyone submits a complaint in connection with alleged irregularities in PSC recruitment, then we will get it investigated. So far no complaints have been received,” he said.

“If the court orders that children of government officials cannot take part in the PSC exam we will abide by it,” he added.

Reacting to Baghel’s statements, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed that the Congress government was baffled after the visit of the PM.

“The Congress knows that they are caught and exposed by the PM. People of the state also know the facts,” said Sacchinanad Upasane, BJP spokesperson in Chhattisgarh.

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