Ekta Parishad begins 4-day fast to protest MP govt's 'anti-farmer' policies

  • HT Corespondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2015 20:21 IST

Founder of Gandhian body Ekta Parishad, PV Rajagopal, began his four-day fast at Neelam Park on Sunday to protest against the 'anti-farmer' and 'anti-tribal' policies of the union and state governments.

He began his Satyagraha as the meeting with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday failed to produce any tangible results.

About 20 chosen volunteers from various tribal communities also participated in the Satyagraha, while 400 people lent support to the campaign.

Tribals from nearly 20 districts are participating in the Satyagraha.

Ekta Parishad is a Gandhian organisation working for securing the land rights of tribals and farmers.

On Saturday, PV Rajagopal met Chouhan and principal secretary Iqbal Singh Bais in a bid to resolve pending issues related to land rights.

Sources said the chief minister agreed to reconstitute the task force on land reforms (which was disbanded in 2013), set up the state land commission as promised in the BJP manifesto and commission a survey of those who had not received land under the Bhoodan movement.

The CM, however, did not give an assurance on the issue of diverting agricultural land for construction purposes, an issue the parishad had opposed.

Sources said Ekta Parishad would have called off the Satyagraha had it received a written assurance.

"Since assurances were all verbal and have been given in the past, we decided to proceed with the plan even after meeting the CM," said Anish, a member of the parishad.

National president of Ekta Parishad, Ran Singh Parmar, said in the last 10 years, agitations by the Gandhian institution had compelled many state governments and union governments to carry out land reforms.

However, the record of the MP government had been abysmal in this regard, he said.

Parmar said farmers, tribals and other marginalised groups were harassed by government employees in the state.

Farmer leader Shiv Kumar Sharma 'kakkaji' said 72 farmers had committed suicide in the state in the last one-and-half-months due to distress.

Farmers had not received crop insurance as the state government has not paid its share of the premium, he said.

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