The Congress party on Thursday alleged that the Vedanta-Foxconn project has gone to Dholera, its new stop in Gujarat, under pressure from the Centre. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Sachin Sawant said that many companies, including ISMC Digital, which proposed manufacturing semiconductors just like Vedanta, chose to withdraw from Dholera, despite the Gujarat government signing a Memorandum of Understanding with them.
Sawant said that a comparative study between Talegaon and Dholera found that the latter was given least preference owing to shortage of water and skilled labour, incompatible electronics manufacturing ecosystem, absence of supply chain vendors and secondary manufacturers and also inhabitable marshy land.
The Congress leader said that many unfeasible projects were announced in Gujarat and “thousands of crores of taxpayer’s money was wasted” when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister.
Sawant said, “Jiophone, a joint project of Google and Reliance, also left Dholera and moved to Tirupati. Earlier, Lockheed Martin Corporation withdrew from the solar battery project. Hindustan Construction Company had entered into an MoU to build a waterfront city worth Rs 40,000 crore at Dholera, but withdrew after some initial investment.”
He said there is also a possibility that due to the stubborn attitude of the Central government, the Vedanta project would be stalled for a long time just like the integrated development Gift City project. “International Financial Services Centre, which was to come to Maharashtra, was moved there as soon as the Modi government came to power. It would have brought a huge investment to our state. But the Central government did not let it happen,” he claimed.
Sawant also narrated how Gujarat government forced the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) to take Rs 10,000 crore worth of bonds, showing that it had found gas reserves, when PM Modi was chief minister. “No gas was found ultimately and the company ended up in debt. ONGC was then forced to buy GSPC by the Modi government,” he said.
“Maharashtra has always remained number one in the field of industry on its own merits. It is unfortunate that BJP leaders are weakening the state to fulfil Modi’s dream of making Gujarat successful by snatching projects from Maharashtra,” Sawant added.