CONGRESS WORKERS led by former MLA Satyanarayan Patel staged a chakka jam (sit-in) at Ghatabillod on Betwa Road on Tuesday to protest the State Government’s ‘anti-farmer’ policies.
The demonstrators targeted the Government for failing to provide adequate compensation to tillers whose land was to be acquired for the 2000-acre Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on Airport Road, irregular power supply to rural areas and shortage of urea and fertiliser.
Flaying the BJP regime for adopting a callous approach towards tillers, Patel charged the Government with evicting ‘demolishing the dwellings of legitimate patta holders on the pretext of encroachment removal.’
Patel declared that the existing shortage was being exacerbated by the decision allowing private parties to sell urea. “During the Congress’ reign urea was sold through co-operative societies staffed by villagers. Why doesn’t the BJP do likewise at least until the shortage is over,” he demanded to know
“The Government,” he charged, “is busy lining its own pocket instead of providing urea and fertiliser to the farmers.” Launching a scathing attack on the BJP’s power policy the Congressman alleged that farmers who had consumed hardly any electricity during the last three years were issued bills amounting to Rs 20,000 - 40,000.
“Owing to three consecutive droughts in as many years most farmers simply don’t have the money to pay the inflated bills. Despite this the power company has sealed the electricity meters of thousands of farmers. As a result, tillers have been unable to irrigate their fields even this year even though there has been adequate rainfall,” he charged.
Patel demanded the Government work out an installment scheme to enable farmers to clear their power dues and called for the cases of power theft filed against farmers to be recalled.
Alleging large-scale bungling in the survey for below poverty line (BPL) ration cards, Patel called for the inclusion of eligible beneficiaries left out during the original identification exercise.
Depalpur Block Congress Committee President Dwarka Sharda, senior leaders including Rameshwar Patel, Radhakishan Malviya, former City Congress president Kripashankar Shukla, Tulsi Silawat, Congress spokesman K K Mishra, Bhallu Yadav, Pankaj Sanghvi and K K Mishra were also present at the demonstration.