Mumbai: Social activist Medha Patkar Thursday alleged there is a scramble among Maharashtra politicians from different parties to vie for prime land where co-operative sugar factories had been built and whenever they are auctioned due to their weak financial condition.
"Not only they eye old equipment and machinery, they are also interested in the plots housing sugar co-operative factories, most of which are in distressed condition," she said while talking to reporters here.
Patkar said the co-operative sector should survive and thrive in Maharashtra, where it has played an important role in the State`s development.
Blaming the Government for the poor condition of co- operative sugar factories, she said these units have been shut down and their assets sold at throwaway prices. "It is a `mahaghotala` (a big scam) amounting to Rs 10,000 crore and involved top politicians from the State," she claimed.
"These politicians from different parties are hand-in glove when it comes to purchasing a sugar factory through auction," Patkar said.
She said a protest would be organised here on October 9 to raise this issue and the event will see participation from anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana President and MP Raju Shetty, among others.
Last month, the State Government decided that henceforth private firms will not be allowed to take part in auction of distressed co-operative sugar facilities.
Patkar said she along with other activists would try to ensure that remaining 60 co-operative sugar factories in the State do not fall into the hands of politicians.