Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday arrived in Rajasthan and inaugurated the commencement of work of an oil refinery in the Barmer district, the first one in the state, which is expected to be completed by 2021. Modi criticised the Congress for reportedly claiming credit for the project, saying that the Opposition party hoodwinks people by just laying foundation stones for projects.
The ruling BJP government, which signed a revised memorandun of understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in August past year, claims to have saved an estimated Rs 40,000 crore as project cost under the new deal.
The Congress says that the foundation stone for the Barmer refinery was laid by then party chief Sonia Gandhi when the Ashok Gehlot government was in power in 2013, and blames the Raje government for delaying the project.
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Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had in a recent press conference criticised Gehlot for misleading the electorate of Rajasthan before 2013 state elections and setting up of Barmer refinery for political gains. The biggest advantage with the refinery is that it is being set up in the vicinity of its oil source. Railway lines were announced just to claim short-term popularity with projects that never ever seeing the light, he charged.
Addressing at a public meeting after the inauguration of the refinery, Pradhan said, "The opening of the refinery will help in the development of the petrochemical and gas sectors in the region".
The prime minister will also inaugurate 11 completed National Highway projects, covering a total length of about 873 km, a Rajasthan government spokesman said in Jaipur. The foundation stone for the project was laid by then Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on September 22, 2013.
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Rajasthan Chief Minister Raje while talking about the scope of energy investments in the state, said that the people of Jaisalmer will benefit from the 1,000 MW solar park being built in the region and people of Rajasthan should be proud of the 2,255 MW solar park, the largest in the world, being built in Bhadla, Jodhpur. He also alleged that the government stalled the project of an oil refinery for four years and misled the people of the state.
Drawing a parallel between his government's way of functioning and that of the Congress, he said the previous regime had provided a mere Rs 500 crore in the interim budget just before the 2014 general elections for the one-rank-one- pension (OROP) scheme for defence personnel to claim credit.
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