|Subrat Das and Subhashish Mohanty|
|Bhubaneswar, Jan. 30: The BJD today blamed the Congress for becoming a stumbling block in the state's industrialisation process during the previous UPA regime for "its own petty politics".|
The Congress, on the other hand, said former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan's statement had exposed the nexus between the Narendra Modi government and the corporate sector.
A senior BJD leader said: "Her statement proves beyond doubt that she succumbed to pressures and against her will she withdrew the environment clearance to Vedanta's alumina project. The exercise was done on political considerations and in the process Odisha suffered."
Rahul Gandhi had visited the site at Niyamgiri and termed the decision of the ministry as "victory of the Dongria Kondhs". Assuring the local people, Rahul said: "I am your sipahi(soldier) in Delhi. My work is not finished, it's begun. Whenever you need me, I will be there for you."
BJD spokesperson Rabi Narayan Nanda said: "The plant would have played a catalytic role in removing the poverty of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts." He demanded apologies from AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi for derailing the process of industrialisation.
Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan, however, described Natarajan's statement as a "political conspiracy hatched in the wake of Delhi Assembly polls.Her statement, he said, has vindicated the fact that the Rahul and the Congress party stood for the weaker sections of society, especially the poor tribal people.
Former Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das, who had led the anti-Vedanta movement, said: "Rahul had supported the struggle for safeguarding tribal and forest rights as well as environment protection."
State BJP spokesperson Suresh Pujari, however, described the development as an internal matter of the Congress party."When an extra constitutional authority tries to take over the government, such crisis arises. It was happening during the UPA regime all the time," he said.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Vedanta on BJD lips
The Telegraph (Kolkata), Jan 31, 2015