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Amethi food park issue again leads to heat in LS

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New Delhi: The issue of mega food park Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi again generated heat in the Lok Sabha today with Congress accusing government of resorting to “politics of vendetta” on development issues.

There were verbal exchanges between members of Congress and treasury benches after Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge referred to the food park scrapped by the Narendra Modi government.

Alleging that “politics of vendetta” was being resorted to either by cancelling or not proceeding ahead with projects cleared by the erstwhile UPA regime, he came out names of several such projects including a canal project in Rajasthan named after Indira Gandhi and 1000-bedded National Cancer Institute as part of expansion of AIIMS in Delhi.

“If this is not politics of vendetta, what is it,” Kharge asked.

He then referred to the statement made by Food Processing Minister Harsmirat Kaur on the reasons for cancellation of the Amethi food park.

Immediately Kaur repeatedly sought to have a say, contending that her name has been taken by the Congress leader and she should be given right to reply.

Egged on by BJP members including Kirit Somaiya and Ministers like Smriti Irani sitting by her side, Kaur pressed for having a say despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan repeatedly telling her that she was not allowing her to speak.

Kaur’s attempts angered Congress members who stormed into the Well of the House forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 20 minutes.

The issue was first raised by Rahul in the House last week.

When the House re-assembled, the Speaker allowed Kaur to table her response drawing sharp reaction from the Congress members.

As the Speaker pacified the Congress members and took up the Negotiable Instruments Bill for consideration, some BJP members from Rajasthan raised slogans alleging that Congress was misleading the House on the Rajasthan canal project aimed at providing drinking water to some towns.

A visibly annoyed Speaker then adjourned the House at around 1 PM till 2 PM observing that the members did not appear to be in a mood for smooth conduct of the House.

Rahul Gandhi, Congress Vice President, had last week attacked the government over the issue and also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of practising politics of revenge.

The Food Processing Minister yesterday said the food park’s promoter company had expressed inability to pursue the project in the absence of natural gas, whose allocation was denied by the previous government in December 2012.

In a detailed statement,Kaur had said  the project proposed Shaktiman Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd in Amethi was cancelled after the promoter company failed to comply with requisite conditions for approval.

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