While former Congress president Rahul Gandhi keeps alleging that Modi government had given undue benefits to industrialist Anil Ambani, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to provide relief to Reliance Power’s Sasan Power Project by giving 4 additional years to the company to clear pending dues of ₹450 crores. The extension for the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company was approved by the cabinet committee for investment promotion (CCIP).
Since the company is owned by Anil Ambani, the issue has created controversy in the state. The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has accused the Congress-ruled government of undermining the “financial interests” of the state at a time when it is suffering from lack of funds as claimed by Kamal Nath.
BJP politician and leader of Opposition, Gopal Bhargava alleged that the extension was a reflection of a “pro-industrialist and capitalist regime.” He contended, “The present state government is committed more towards furthering interests of industrialists/capitalists and less towards promoting interests and welfare of poor and unemployed lot.”
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In its defense, the ruling political dispensation argued that the said project met 17-18% of MP’s electricity demand. Narendra Saluja, the media convenor of the Chief Minister, stated “The Rs 27,000 crore project provides electricity to the state at Rs 1.53 per unit, if the project is allowed to close, then same electricity will have to procure from others at rates between Rs 4-Rs 5 per unit. The supply of electricity to the state from the Sasan Project has saved Rs 10,500 crores of state exchequer since 2013.”
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The Congres party also claimed that the extension was provided as per the 2014 Investment promotion policy adopted by the former Shivraj Singh Chauhan-led-BJP government. PC Sharma, MP’s Public Relations Minister, confirmed, “Earlier, time of one year was given to the Reliance Power’s Sasan Power Project to pay the dues, which has been extended to four years now.
In the run-up of the 2019 Assembly elections, the former Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP government of being hands-in-gloves with Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal. The entire election campaigns of Rahul Gandhi during the 2018 assembly elections and 2019 general elections were based on attacking the Modi government over false allegations of favouring Anil Ambani. The tale of lies and fabricated stories weaved by the Congress had prompted the businessman to file a ₹5000 crore defamation suit against the National Herald, the Congress mouthpiece. It, therefore, comes as a surprise how a Congress-ruled state gives relief to Anil Ambani who has been viciously demonised by their former party chief.