Congress leader pulls up Modi for raising Narmada river, gas pricing issues with PM

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 09:39 hrs

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhwadia on Wednesday lashed out at Chief Minister Narendra Modi for raising issues such as Narmada river and gas pricing with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, and said playing politics and doing nothing in this regard has been the catch phrase of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in the state.

Modhwadia said chief ministers of every state could meet the Prime Minister and hold discussions with him on their respective states.

"But Modiji's talks with regard to the Narmada programme-today, there is full water in the Narmada river, and there is so much water that can be given to 18 lakh hectares of land. But only 15 percent of work of the 80,000 kilometer canal network, which is to be built, has been completed in 18 years of BJP rule," said Modhwadia.

"And, it does not requite the help of the Government of India, but despite that the Government of India has given Rs. 6,000 crores for this project. Moreover, no other permission is required. But playing politics in the name of the Narmada river and doing nothing in this regard has been the catch phrase of the Narendra Modi Government," he added.

Modhwadia further said '40 percent of India's total gas in being given to Gujarat, but despite that this government plays politics on the issue'.

"Gujarat Government does not oppose the move of the private companies here to increase the prices of gas, but it charges 15 percent tax on the cheap has available. So, it should work at domestic level first and then talk of gas," said Modhwadia.

"Moreover, the Prime Minister and the UPA Government have always helped Gujarat. Rajiv Gandhi when he was the Prime Minister helped Gujarat to get the maximum gas," he added.

Modi, who met the Prime Minister at his official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence in the national capital earlier in the day, flagged the issue of building a sluice gate on the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river and requested him that clearance should be given to the long- pending project as early as possible.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also expressed his unhappiness over the Centre's refusal to provide gas to the state at the same price at which it is given to Mumbai and Delhi.

"I came to meet the Prime Minister for the first time after the formation of new government. I had a long discussion with the Prime Minister. The meeting was very cordial and I discussed several pending projects with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has assured of help and cooperation for development in Gujarat," Modi told media outside the Prime Minister's residence.

"I also discussed gas prices and the Narmada irrigation project with him. The Prime Minister congratulated me for my new government. I also brought up the issue of Sardar Sarovar dam," he added.

This was Modi's first meeting with the Prime Minister after being sworn-in as the Gujarat Chief Minister for a third consecutive term in December last year.

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