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V P Singh demands clarifications into Reliance land deal

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Mar 5 (UNI) Former prime minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh today demanded that Uttar Pradesh government clarify its stand on providing agricultural land to Reliance for setting up a power project.

Mr Singh -- who heads Kisan Manch -- also demanded a probe into the controversial import of wheat from Australia on higher prices than what was being offerred to Indian farmers.

Addressing a news conference here, the former Prime Minister -- criticising the UP Development Council (UPDC) termed unfortunate the Mulayam Singh Yadav government move to hand over 2,500 acres of agricultural land to Reliance for setting up a power unit.

''If an announcement is not made by June, when the plant starts functioning, the Manch would forcefully plough the land at Dadri, which has been acquired from farmers,'' he warned.

He claimed UP paid Rs 1.5 lakh per acre to farmers for the agricultural land, which could not be justified to set up a power plant in private sector.

''Reliance should have purchased the land in open market, rather than the UPDC resorting to illegal means for favouring any industrialist.'' Mr Singh also demanded the Centre to order a probe into the import of wheat at a time when domestic production would come in the market and how the buffer stock was exhausted.

''Can the centre reply why it was importing wheat at the price of Rs 950 per quintal against the Minimum Support price of Rs 650 given to farmers here,'' he questioned.

Demanding immediate setting up of a Kisan Vikas Parishad in the state, Mr Singh said if nothing was decided by month end, Manch would stage 'Ghera Dalo, Dera Dalo' agitation from April. ''I will write the third and last letter to the CM tomorrow in this regard.'' The former Prime Minister also raised the issue of illegal transfer of green belt to commercial land on the banks of Gomti in Lucknow and acquisition of over 1,600 bighas of agriculture land in Barabanki.

UNI MB VS YA RS1840

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