UNION POWER Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today blamed the State Government’s ‘mismanagement’ for the deprivations faced by rural people. He was addressing farmers at a mammoth gathering at Sanwer near here.
Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia minced no words and blamed the “corrupt BJP leaders” for the fertiliser shortage and other problems plaguing the tillers.
Addressing a Kisan-Dalit rally organised by former minister and Jyotiraditya Scindia camp follower Tulsi Silawat to protest against the ‘anti-farmer, anti poor’ policies of the BJP regime, Shinde declared that inept handling of resources and improper allocation of priorities was hindering Central efforts to alleviate the woes of farmers.
“Crores of rupees have been forwarded to Madhya Pradesh under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme aimed at supplying electricity to every village and free power for people living below poverty line (BPL).
But the benefits of these and other Centrally-aided projects haven’t reached farmers and the poor” said Shinde while addressing farmers at this dusty town, around 40 km from Indore.
Pradesh Congress Committee chief Subhash Yadav, Olympian and former MP Aslam Sher Khan, former ministers Rameshwar Patel, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda and leaders from Indore and Ujjain were among those present on the occasion.
With a 15,000-strong crowd hanging on to his every word, Jyotiraditya Scindia began his address by attributing the shortage of fertiliser to corruption among ruling party members. “The Centre supplied 1.5 lakh tonnes of fertiliser to Madhya Pradesh. However, only 75,000 tonnes was distributed among farmers and the rest was sold in the black-market by BJP leaders”, he charged.
“Parivartan ka samay aa gaya hai” (the time for change has come), declared Scindia while pointing out that the BJP government had failed miserably at delivering on every poll time promise particularly bijli-sadak-paani.
The BJP rule has been characterised by total apathy towards farmers and economically weaker sections, charged the Guna MP. “In the run up to the polls the BJP promised to supply power for 20 hours every day and a waiver of loans. Today, power is supplied for hardly four hours and the loans remain in place”, pointed out the charismatic Congressman.
“An acute shortage of fertiliser has made a good harvest a dream for tillers even though there’s plenty of water”, he pointed out.
Dropping his normally sedate public speaking style in favour of a more oratorical manner, Scindia struck a particular poignant chord when he promised to follow in his father’s footsteps and do his “utmost for the Malwa region”.
Reminiscing about his days in Parliament with the late Madhavrao Scindia, former Betul MP Aslam Sher Khan likened Jyotiraditya Scindia to his father. He suggested that the next such gathering be titled the Kisan-Dalit-Minority rally. “As there as the three groups that bear the brunt of BJP misrule”.
Earlier, PCC chief Subhash Yadav, Tulsi Silawat and Rameshwar Patel all poured opprobrium on the BJP government for failing to cater to the farmers and expressed confidence that the Congress would rout the ruling party in the next polls.
Shinde : New hydroelectric policy on the anvil to tap water reserves in the Himalayas to bridge demand-supply gap. The country today has an installed capacity of 1.28 lakh MW as compared to 1360 MW at the time of Independence. The Eleventh Plan has set a target of producing an additional 60,000 MW. However, distribution of power and allocating priorities is the State government’s prerogative. Loans up to Rs 3 lakh for farmers at 7 per cent from nationalised banks, down from 8.5 per cent to push up rural growth.
Scindia: Need for a people-oriented, and farmer sensitive government capable of maintaining law and order. Congress the only party that cares for farmers and rural residents. On the power front Rs 27.34 crore allocated for Indore district under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme, 625 villages and 12,000 BPL families to benefit. A 4,000 MW power plant commissioned at Sasan in Sidhi district that will supply power at Rs 1.19 paise per unit for the next 25 years. Support price for sugarcane, grain raised already. UPA and Congress committed to easing farmers’ woes.
Vernacular comments that drew loud applause:
“Yeh to apne pita se kuchh zyada hain”. (He’s even more accomplished than his father), remarked Shinde comparing the Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia with the late Madhavrao Scindia. “He keeps expressing concern about Indore, Ujjain and Dhar. I point out that these don’t fall in his constituency only to be countered with “Yeh sab hamara praant hai (The entire region is ours).
Malwa se hamara sambandh rajnaitik nahin parivarik hai (Our terms with Malwa are familial not political), declared Jyotiraditya Scindia drawing thunderous applause from the gathering.
Police ki laathi aur ek bori (Caning from the cops and one bag), responded a farmer when Shinde asked the gathering if they’d received any fertiliser.
Mantri mast Janta trast (The ministers make merry while the masses worry), Scindia on the state of affairs in the BJP regime.
Toll tax was waived on the Indore-Ujjain road. Traffic ground to a halt on the Indore-Ujjain road for nearly two hours as thousands of Congressmen first attempted to make their way to and then from the venue. Serpentine queues and bottlenecks comprising a bewildering array of vehicles ranging from cars, jeeps, trucks were a common sight as roadside hawkers had a filed day.