BJP alleges secret deal behind sugar mills’ decision
Dehra Dun: BJP on Sunday alleged that the Uttarakhand government had entered into a "secret deal" with businessmen to run four sugar mills on a Private Public Partnership mode.
"Under a secret deal, all these sugar mills have already been sold to some businessmen. This move will jeopardise the future of thousands of workers employed there," leader of opposition in state assembly Ajay Bhatt claimed.
Bhatt also said that the BJP will not have any objection if the government brings private investments in sectors like roads and other infrastructure facilities in the state.
"We will welcome the government if our ropeways are being developed on a PPP mode," said Bhatt.
Bhatt’s comments came after Bahuguna on Thursday said that he would hold talks with the opposition with an "open mind" on the issue on Saturday evening but flew to New Delhi without meeting BJP leaders.
The state cabinet on Tuesday had decided to adopt PPP model for reviving four loss-making sugar mills and close the Gadarpur sugar mill.
A group of BJP leaders led by Gadarpur legislator Arvind Pande had held dharna at the entrance of Bahuguna`s office building at state secretariat opposing the cabinet’s decision.
"I will go on fast-unto-death if the decision on sugar mills is not taken back," said Pande, who is getting a wider support from the state BJP leaders including former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
"Bahuguna did not meet us despite a categorical assurance that he would hold talks with us on Saturday evening," said Pande. He also threatened to launch a state-wide agitation on the issue.
The chief minister on Thursday strongly defended the cabinet decision saying the PPP was the best option before the government for reviving the loss-making sugar mills.
"The government cannot afford to bear the loss of Rs 100-200 crore every year on these sugar mills. PPP is the best option before us to bring private investments. Under the PPP, sugar mills will remain under the government?s control," said Bahuguna.
Bahuguna also asserted that all the 600 workers of Gadarpur sugar mill, a cooperative unit with heavy losses, will be rehabilitated in other sugar mills.
Bahuguna said the Gadarpur sugar mill is being closed due to difficulty in procuring cane. In this regard, Bahuguna said states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal have made big headway on PPP front.
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