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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Congress asks MP govt to take up shifting of lions with Gujarat

PTI  Bhopal, July 19, 2013
First Published: 13:16 IST(19/7/2013) | Last Updated: 13:19 IST(19/7/2013)

The Opposition Congress has asked the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government to directly take up with their Gujarat counterparts the issue of trans location of Asiatic lions from there to a state sanctuary.
 
"Though Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan always talks about the state's interests, but in the matter of shifting of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat's Gir Forest to Kuno Palpur sanctuary, he is hardly doing anything in the interest of the people who were relocated from the area for trans location of lions," environmentalist and state Congress unit joint spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said today.
 
"Chouhan should take up the matter with the top BJP leadership as the matter is between the two BJP-ruled states, without waiting for a court directive in the matter," Chaturvedi said.
 
The Supreme Court had on April 15 this year allowed translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh, saying the species is under threat of extinction and needs a second home.

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However, Gujarat had decided to file a review petition in the matter.
 
Currently, there are about 400 Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir sanctuary.
 
Chaturvedi also said that he will urge the state Congress manifesto committee chairman Suresh Pachouri to include the issue in the party's manifesto as people from 24 villages were shifted from the Kuno Palpur area to facilitate a second home for Asiatic Lions.
 
"The forest department had relocated large number of people from the area for Asiatic Lions. At the same time, due to political rivalry between Chouhan and Modi the big cats are not being brought to the area without realising the pain and agony of large number of people who were forced to leave their homes," Chaturvedi alleged.

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