PM, CM en­gage in ban­ter about land

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - METRO -

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Fri­day said he had wanted a trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion cen­tre for weavers in the heart of Varanasi, but the state gov­ern­ment al­lot­ted the land a lit­tle away.

“This cen­tre for weavers is out­side the city. I had asked the state gov­ern­ment for land in the city it­self. But it did oth­er­wise and al­lot­ted land here (Lalpur),” Modi said.

Hours later, chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Yadav re­futed the claim in Agra.

Talk­ing to re­porters at Taj Khema, the chief min­is­ter clar­i­fied that the land sought by the union tex­tile min­istry for the project had al­ready been ear­marked for a Varanasi Haat pro­posal mooted by the state gov­ern­ment for weavers.

Another land was shown but it was dis­ap­proved by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment which then went ahead with the project at another site, the CM claimed.

The chief min­is­ter said his gov­ern­ment would never be found want­ing in pro­vid­ing land for any cen­tral project.

Yadav, who was in Agra to in­au­gu­rate an ex­hi­bi­tion, said the state gov­ern­ment was more con­cerned than the BJP about the weavers.

Ear­lier in the day, no sparks flew when the chief min­is­ter re­ceived the PM at Ba­bat­pur air­port in Varanasi.

The sit­u­a­tion was quite un­like that wit­nessed five

THE PM WARMLY RE­TURNED THE CM’S GES­TURE OF FLY­ING DOWN TO RE­CEIVE HIM AS GOV­ER­NOR RAM NAIK WATCHED

months ago when the two had tar­geted each other over Ut­tar Pradesh de­mand­ing Gu­jarat’s Gir lions for the up­com­ing lion sa­fari project in Etawah.

The PM warmly re­turned the CM’s ges­ture of fly­ing down to re­ceive him as gov­er­nor Ram Naik watched.

Though the CM left im­me­di­ately after wel­com­ing the PM, his two min­is­ters Ahmad Hasan and Suren­dra Pa­tel at­tended two of Modi’s func­tions. The ges­ture was not lost on the PM who stayed away from mak­ing any di­rect at­tack on the Sa­ma­jwadi Party gov­ern­ment.

Dur­ing the launch of the trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion cen­tre and crafts mu­seum at Lalpur, where Akhilesh’s min­is­ters were present, the PM did men­tion the land is­sue but the remark didn’t carry the sting of a usual Modi at­tack.

“It was made very lightly and the com­ment ended with ‘chalo koi baat nahi’. Like a true Gu­jarati, the PM never for­gets to re­turn a favour,” a se­nior BJP leader said.

Gov­er­nor Ram Naik and chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Yadav wel­com­ing PM Naren­dra Modi in Varanasi on Fri­day.

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