Centre is trying to stop Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project, alleges CM Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot alleged that the Centre is trying to stop the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and asserted that the state government will complete the project at any cost

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (File photo)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (File photo)
user

PTI

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday alleged that the Centre is trying to stop the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and asserted that the state government will complete the project at any cost .

He said that water is a subject matter of the state and the Centre doesn't have the right to stop the project. State government will not let the work stop for this project at any cost , the chief minister said.

"I would like to announce, even if the Central government does not declare the ERCP as a national project, the Rajasthan government will complete the project," Gehlot said.

He was addressing the people's representatives of 13 districts here, which will benefit from ERCP.

Gehlot said that the state government is not begging, but it is asking for its right.

He said that the Centre has written a letter to the state government to stop the work for ERCP citing inter-state consensus issues, but they should know that water is a subject matter of the state and not the Central government.

"It is our water and catchment area, and we are using our resources. I would like to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi, why did your ministry write to us to stop the work? Water is a subject matter of state. I would like to say in front of everyone that I am not going to stop its work at any cost," Gehlot said.

The chief minister further said that the Centre will send investigative agencies like ED and CBI after finding some lacuna.

"They are very dangerous people. They can do anything. They will create pressure and threaten us. But, we are not going to be afraid, whatever you may do. We will move forward," Gehlot said.

Earlier, Gehlot had said that the ruling Congress would run a signature campaign regarding the project and connect the general public so that pressure was mounted on the Centre to give ERCP the status of a national project.

"We want to tell the prime minister and the home minister that we are not doing any politics. We want that this important scheme for 13 districts gets the status of a national project," he said.

He said that the prime minister had announced in Jaipur and Ajmer meetings to consider this project sensitively and with a positive attitude, but nothing happened after that.

The chief minister said that despite its limited resources, the state government has continued the work on this project with a budget of Rs 9,600 crore.

The ERCP, which will ensure availability of drinking and irrigation water in 13 districts of the state, is worth more than Rs 37,000 crore.

Gehlot said that 16 projects in the country have the status of national project, so why can't Rajasthan get such status for a project.

"We are not begging, we are asking for our rights," he said.

In his address, Gehlot also hit out at 25 NDA MPs from the state, especially Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, for not getting the project status of a national project.

Referring to the use of the word 'Nikamma' (useless) for Shekhawat, he said, "When children quarrel among themselves in the neighbourhood and someone goes to complain about the other child, they say that he is very Nikamma and Nakara. Let me call him and I will scold. This is what said for our kids."

He said, "This is what I say many times that he (Shekhawat) is Nikamma, Nakara. This means that he is a kid and he must have made a mistake, I will scold him."

"Sometimes it is also said with love. Now, when I say it out of love, many people feel bad. What do I do about it?" he added.

On July 2, Gehlot, while targeting Shekhawat, had used the word 'Nikamma' against him.

All India Congress Committee general secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken, state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra, and several ministers in the state government also addressed the meeting.

Congress MLAs and other public representatives of 13 districts, including Bharatpur, Alwar, Kota, Baran, Jhalawar, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Ajmer, Jaipur, Dausa, Karauli, Bundi and Dholpur, participated in the programme.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines