Jamshedpur: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda today deplored the West Bengal government decision to impose restriction on the movement of vegetables including potato, which resulted in the prices of the tuber soaring in Jharkhand.
Koda, who was in the steel city to hold a meeting with Jharkhand Vikas Party and Trinamool Congress on forging a pre-poll alliance, said Chief Minister Hemant Soren should have taken up the issue with his Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee to resolve it.
"Blocking movement of essential commodities like potato was in violation of natural justice and such things should not have happened between two neighbouring states," Koda said.
A former MP from Singhbhum, Koda warned if the West Bengal government continued with its stand, Jharkhand, which supplies various essential commodities, vegetables as well as minerals to Bengal, could also reciprocate in similar fashion.
"I do not think such steps are any solution to the prevailing problem and both the chief ministers should discuss and resolve it amicably," he said.
Koda also lambasted the Jharkhand government for its "lack of any contingency plan to address such a situation" and alleged the government had no plans to increase production of vegetables or set up cold storages to store it.
"The local cultivators have no option but to approach West Bengal to store their produce due to inadequate cold storage facilities in the state," he said.
"During my tenure as Chief Minister, I had initiated steps in this regard and had even signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the West Bengal government after inviting experts from the neighbouring state to establish cold storages in Jharkhand," Koda claimed and lamented that the project was stalled by successive governments.