Just when you thought the saga of the Plastindia trade show and its last minute move from Delhi to Gujarat couldn't get stranger, another twist comes along.
The Times of India reported July 4 that there's a big legal fight emerging between the state government and the local event management company, K&D Communications Ltd., which partnered with the Plastindia Foundation in organizing the show.
Part of the story includes accusations from the state government's department of industry and mines that K&D organized the Plastindia show without government permission, and didn't pay the government any royalties.
There's more: the state government is taking issue with the exhibition halls that K&D erected very quickly on the site, sometimes called the Helipad Grounds in the city of Gandhinagar, saying that it only gave permission for "temporary” structures, not the “semi-permanent" structures the company built.
A local power company also accused K&D of not paying a $630,000 electric bill.
K&D, for its part, is saying that it's owed about $2.4 million from various government departments for space they leased for the Vibrant Gujarat show at the helipad. Vibrant Gujarat took place in January, about a month before Plastindia.
Hard to know what to make of all this.
The top government leader in Gujarat, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, attended the Plastindia show. Strange that she would attend a show that was apparently being organized without her government's permission.
Maybe this is a dispute about collecting overdue bills, or maybe it's more a fight over politics and money, getting a bigger piece of the spoils. Some say politics has been a big part of this from the beginning.
Several Indian plastics industry companies angry about the show's move to Gandhinagar alleged in a lawsuit that it was done under pressure from the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was chief minister of Gujarat before becoming Prime Minister last year.
That lawsuit said the show was moved to benefit K&D, which is based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat's largest city and commercial hub. K&D also organizes other plastics shows.
The Times of India story also claims that the industry and mines department is refusing to pay K&D until it vacates the show grounds.