Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha is sitting on an indefinite dharna in Narsingpur district to support the demands of farmers. He is being supported by Shatrughan Sinha. Here’s a report, for Different Truths.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who has launched a frontal attack on the policies of the Modi government, has this time taken the fight to Madhya Pradesh, causing embarrassment to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Sinha is sitting on an indefinite dharna in Narsingpur district to support the demands of farmers. He is being supported by Shatrughan Sinha.
In 2012 and 2013, around 1,200 acres of land from 405 farmers of six villages: Chor Barhata, Mehrakkheda, Umaria, Dongargaon, Kudari, and Gangai was acquired for construction of NTPC thermal power plant. Farmers have been demanding jobs in the corporation for the land acquired along with compensation.
Apart from job, the farmers’ demands include withdrawal of cases slapped against 17 farmers under SC & ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. On Sunday a meeting between Yashwant Sinha, farmers’ leader Shivkumar Sharma alias Kakka ji and other farmers’ representatives with NTPC management and senior district officials was held at the circuit house of the Narsingpur town.
According to Narsingpur district collector Abhay Kumar Verma, “Talks are being held every day with the protesting farmers to bring an end to the protest. NTPC has offered what best could be offered from their end. They have offered contractual jobs and priority to farmers whose land was acquired in the allocation of shops.”
Apart from Sinha, farmer leader Shiv Kumar Sharma alias Kakka Ji, state convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Alok Agarwal and other leaders have also joined the protests and stated sit-ins.
Shatrughan reached the collectorate premises late Sunday night and extended his support to the protesting farmers and assured them he would raise the issue in Delhi if their demands are not met.
Another embarrassment to Chouhan has come from none other than Anandiben Patel, the newly appointed Governor of the state. From the first day after she took over, she started acting as if she is the head of the government. The very first day she was administered an oath of office she visited some institutions. The Governor has issued directives asking Principal Secretaries and Secretaries to visit Raj Bhavan with the reports of their respective departments, along with powerpoint presentations. This step of the Governor was unusual. According to the tradition normally the Governor is regarded as a decorative chief of the state. The Governor is not expected to take interest in the day to day administration. Thus what Anandiben is doing is not against the Constitution but it is against the tradition. Since she will go through files she may find some such thing which may adversely affect the prestige of the Chief Minister and other Ministers.
The two approaching by-elections are a hard nut to crack for Chouhan as both constituencies consist of areas in which Jyotiraditya Scindia commands great influence. Both the constituencies became vacant because of the death of sitting Congress legislators. Thus Congress is confident that it will retain them. An indication to this effect became clear when large crowd followed the Congress candidates when they went to file their nomination. The BJP camp became nervous after the Congress made inroads in the BJP controlled local bodies for which elections were held recently. In order to lure certain predominant castes in the two constituencies, the Chief Minister inducted three ministers who he thinks can influence the voters belonging to their castes. The Congress, however, succeeded in stalling the induction of a BJP leader from one of the constituencies. The moment the Congress came to know of the move, it approached the Election Commission terming the proposed inclusion as the violation of model code of conduct. The Chief Election Commissioner concurred with the argument and directed the Chief Minister to refrain from including the proposed name. This became a cause of another embarrassment to the chief minister.
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