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Congress and NCP guns for Industries minister Subhash Desai

The opposition parties, the Congress and the NCP on Tuesday, targeted industries minister Subhash Desai for the Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation (MIDC) lands denotification issue and demanded his resignation. The issue led to noisy scenes in the house, which was adjourned three times. However, Mr Desai refuted all charges and said the lands had been denotified as per the rules.

The leader of the opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil alleged that out of a total of 14,219 ha of MIDC land, 12,429 ha had been denotified within two years. “90 per cent of the land has been denotified under MIDC. There is huge corruption in the matter and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should conduct an inquiry. When we were in power, Swastik properties had applied for denotification of a land in Igatpuri in 2012. The then industries minister, Narayan Rane, did not grant permission. However, this government has granted permission to denotify the land,” Mr Vikhe Patil said. He added that no farmers had applied to denotify the land.

NCP leader Ajit Pawar alleged that Mr Desai omitted 31,050 acre of land worth `50,000 crore from MIDC illegally. “If farmers had demanded it, then the denotification process would have been justified. However, the omission was done after Swastik builders sent an application. The same application had been received when Narayan Rane was the industries minister, but he did not take this decision,” he said. The allegations created pandemonium in the house with the Shiv Sena MLAs shouting slogans against the opposition members. This led to three adjournment in the house.

Replying to the allegations, Mr Desai said that the former industries ministers, Rajendra Darda and Narayan Rane, had denotified the lands. “The farmers and the local MLAs had opposed the land acquisition at Iagatpuri. In 2010, the then minister, Rajendra Darda omitted 128 ha land for Ashok Industries Pvt Ltd.

“In 2014, Narayan Rane denotified land in four cases. When we received the application from Swastik, it was sent to the industries department. It was informed that MIDC has already omitted maximum land in the area and the available land is spread unevenly. A survey conducted by the collector said that the farmers were demanding `3 crore compensation per acre and it was not viable. The district collector sent his opinion based on which the MIDC approved the omission of the land. After the report, 106 ha land of 113 farmers was denotified on January 30, 2016,” he said.

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