Opposition Congress today said the Gujarat government's move to acquire land from farmers in Surat district for upcoming Hazira special investment region (SIR) is a "conspiracy" aimed at benefiting select industrialists who are "funding" BJP's election campaign.
"BJP has been receiving election funds from some preferred industrialists, who will be given land in proposed Hazira Special Investment Region (SIR)," alleged state unit Congress president Arjun Modhwadia.
Modhwadia said Cabinet minister Saurabh Patel in his letter in September 2010 to MPs and MLAs from Surat district, who were protesting against the proposed SIR, had denied any plan to acquire land for the project.
"In the letter, Patel categorically denied that the state government is planning to acquire land from farmers for SIR. He urged the farmers not to have any fear. He assured that government will not acquire their land," said Modhwadia.
He said the BJP government's "sudden" notification on February 13, 2014, announced the implementation of Hazira SIR in that region.
"As per the notification, the government is planning to acquire around 60,000 acres of land from the farmers of 38 villages," Modhwadia said.
The Hazira SIR covers 38 villages in Surat district, including 26 villages of Olpad taluka and 12 of Choryasi taluka.
"This is a conspiracy by BJP government to hand over the precious land to some industrialists under the banner of SIR. This is a cruel joke on farmers by BJP," said Modhwadia, adding, "BJP is collecting election funds from these industrialists in return of favour done to them."