Draft Environment Rules For Suit-Boot Friends, Loot Nation: Rahul Gandhi

EIA 2020: Rahul Gandhi attacks Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government over Environment Impact Assessment 2020 draft notification using "suit-boot" jib. Says draft provisions favour industrialist "friends" over the poor.

Draft Environment Rules For Suit-Boot Friends, Loot Nation: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday urged people to protest the EIA 2020 draft.

New Delhi:

In a tweet replete with jibes at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called for withdrawal of the new Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 draft to stop "LootOfTheNation". A day earlier he had said the draft provisions are "dangerous" and if notified, the long term consequences will be "catastrophic".

In response, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has hit out at the Congress leader saying "the same people took big decisions without consultations" when they were in power.

The draft EIA notification, which involves procedure of issuing environmental clearances to various projects, was issued by the Environment Ministry in March this year and public suggestions were invited.

Using PM Modi's catchphrase "Mitron", Mr Gandhi's Hindi tweet said the draft was yet another example of the lengths to which the BJP government would go for its "suit-boot" friends - a reference often employed by the Congress to criticise BJP-led Central government decisions seen as anti-poor and meant to safeguard interests of industrialists.

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However, Environment Minister Javadekar has rebuffed Mr Gandhi's concerns shared in a Facebook post which said the idea that Environment Impact Assessment can be given post facto - "after a project has already destroyed the environment" - could "unleash widespread environmental destruction and mayhem across India".

"It (Gandhi's comment on EIA and demanding protests) is unnecessary and premature... We have received thousands of suggestions which we welcome. We will consider those suggestions. Then take a call and come out with final draft. So, people jumping just on the draft is not fair practice. Those who want to now protest, during their regime took many of the big decisions without consultations. It is unnecessary and premature. I have mentioned it in my letter to (Congress leader and former Union minister) Jairam Ramesh," the minister told reporters.

Earlier, he had also dismissed as "premature" concerns raised by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, the former Environment Minister and current chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and climate change.