'All SEZs in Maharashtra must have referendum'

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Pune, Sep 22: Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ramdas Kadam on Monday, Sep 22 demanded that all Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the state be put to a referendum on the lines of referendum in Raigad district.

Addressing reporters here, Mr Kadam said it was important to have the opinion of farmers and land owners whether they wanted the SEZ or not, as the farmers in the Raigad district had voted against the proposed SEZ of Reliance Industries.

''The whole thing has started because Reliance has bought off the ministers despite national leaders, like Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cautioning about acquiring farmers' lands,'' he charged.

The Shiv Sena leader said he will raise the issue in the next assembly session.

Mr Kadam said the farmers had got a raw deal even after the announcement of the package for them. Nothing has come of it, he alleged.

''We had also waived the farmers' loans and worked for their development. But the present government is not serious and has done nothing even after claiming to have disbursed Rs 200 crore,'' he pointed out, adding, as the government had not invested in power generation projects for the past 10 years, the agricultural production had suffered severely.

Mr Kadam announced that around 10 activists, including Ganesh Satpute, of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had returned to the Shiv Sena.

He claimed that the party was committed to promoting the interests of the Marathi-speaking people.


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