BJP govt yet to answer why they kept refinery project stalled for 4 years: Ashok Gehlot | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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BJP govt yet to answer why they kept refinery project stalled for 4 years: Ashok Gehlot

Former Rajasthan chief minister also asked why the state’s stake remained fixed at 26% in the revised deal

jaipur Updated: Jan 16, 2018 22:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Barmer refinery,HPCL,Vasundhara Raje
The first deal was signed by Ashok Gehlot-led government and HPCL in 2013 .(HT File)

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday questioned why the state’s stake in the Barmer refinery has remained at 26% despite the project being stalled for four years.

In 2013, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone of the proposed Rs 43,129 crore Barmer refinery project. However, the project was stalled after the Vasundhara Raje government came to power in 2013. The MoU signed in September 2013 by the Congress government was cancelled and a fresh one was signed in April 2017.

In the second MoU, too, the state’s equity in the project remained 26 %, something that the Vasundhara Raje government was trying hard to increase.

Taking potshot on social media, Gehlot said, “BJP has been spreading negative propaganda and misconceptions about the refinery right from the beginning. BJP should know that unless all formalities related to the project were complete, Sonia Gandhi would never have accepted the invitation to lay the foundation and inauguration.”

In a series of tweets, Gehlot stated, “Still waiting for an appropriate answer as to why CM Vasundhara Raje stalled the ambitious refinery project for more than 4 years that would have changed the fate and face of our state.”

He continued, “CM kept trying to mislead people of the state by repeatedly questioning state’s share 26% in this project would claim that when land is ours, oil is ours and water is ours, then why only 26%? I ask her why state share in refinery has not been increased from 26% in new MoU?”

Gehlot said that as a result of this four-year delay, thousands of youngsters were deprived of jobs, caused huge revenue loss to the government, delayed thousands associated small industries connected to the petro-chemical complex and job creation.

He alleged that the Congress did not deceive the public and youth, but the BJP government did by stalling all important Congress projects, including the refinery. The CM should tender an apology to the public for this.

Then Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot presents a souvenir to Sonia Gandhi at a ceremony where she laid the foundation stone of refinery-cum-petrochemical complex at Pachpadra in 2013. (Deepak Sharma/HT File)

Talking about Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s reported statements that ‘let Gehlot invite over tea at his home will explain how Congress cheated people?’ The ex-CM tweeted, “Not just for tea, If Dharmendra Pradhan visits for dinner sometime I’ll be glad to host him, but at least answer my question regarding the refinery and inform the public how exactly did Congress deceive them?”

He said instead of answering questions, Pradhan is accusing the Congress. His statement that ‘Jhuthe Vade Karne Vali Congress Ka Moonh Kala Hoga’ is unfortunate. “If the BJP has the courage, then both the minister and the CM should come forward and compare the two MoUs.”

PM visit an effort to influence bypolls: Pilot

Meanwhile, state Congress president Sachin Pilot on Tuesday alleged that BJP, which has lost its credibility, got the refinery project inaugurated by the Prime Minister in an effort to influence the bypolls.

“The BJP has shown animosity for the refinery for last four years and now it’s being called a milestone by the PM. The truth is despite stalling the project for four years, there are not many changes in the memorandum of understanding,” he said.

Pilot said that the PM’s speech on Tuesday was political, which shows that it was made to influence public. “It is unfortunate that the PM called the Congress and drought as brothers, this symbolizes BJP’s policy of misguiding people,” he said.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 22:14 IST