Sugar mills comment: Nitish Kumar slams Amit Shah

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Patna, April 16:  Criticising BJP national president Amit Shah over his remarks on sugar mills in the state, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said that he is "ignorant" about facts.

Kumar was reacting to questions by media persons on Shah's speech at the BJP workers' conclave in Patna on Tuesday, where he said that shopping malls were built on the land of 12 sugar mills in the state, benefiting ministers and their relatives.

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Bihar CM Nitish slams Amit Shah

"Amit Shah should tell where malls have been built on the land of sugar mills. He is either ignorant about the facts or is making wrong statements," Kumar said on his arrival here from New Delhi after attending the merger of Janata Parivar parties.

Kumar asked Shah to release photographs related to any shopping mall being constructed on the land of sugar mills. "He (Shah) should release the photographs of such malls. I want him to clearly tell where, on which sugar mill land, shopping malls have been constructed," Kumar said.

The Chief Minister said 15 sugar mills and two distilleries in the state were closed and the government tried to make them functional.

'No minister or his relative has been given the land belonging to sugar mills'

"We appointed SBI Caps as consultant in 2007 for this purpose. It evaluated the price, capabilities and potentialities of the sugar mills and submitted a report to us, on the basis of which tenders were invited four times. Subsequently, 'bandobast' (arrangement) for seven mills and a distillery was done in a completely transparent manner," he said.

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"No minister or his relative has been given the land belonging to sugar mills nor any mall has been constructed on such land," he added.

Kumar further informed that Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has taken two sugar mills and a distillery in the state. One at Motipur has been given to a company India Potash Limited but a court case is going over it.

The Chief Minister also said that the Sugarcane Industries Department in the state was trying to start the remaining sugar mills and a distillery, which were so far closed.

PTI

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