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VP, Govt on collision course

THE MULAYAM Singh Yadav government and former Prime Minister VP Singh are heading for a showdown on the issue of Reliance power project in Dadri, on August 17.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2006 18:19 IST

THE MULAYAM Singh Yadav government and former Prime Minister VP Singh are heading for a showdown on the issue of Reliance power project in Dadri, on August 17.

The Jan Morcha Alliance (JMA) headed by Raj Babbar has launched a massive drive to mobilise farmers in the western UP to undertake a march to Dadri on August 17. The government is equally determined to thwart the march, as forces were being rushed from adjoining district to Hapur to maintain law and order.

Raj Babbar has called upon farmers in the western UP to reach Dadri to take back land from Reliance. The government had foiled VP Singh’s entry in Dadri last month and thereafter a ban was also imposed prohibiting him and Raj Babbar to enter into Hapur district till August 9.

In view of the prevailing tension in the region the government has also sought para-military forces from the Centre. The police officers are concerned because of the positive response of the farmers to the JMA call. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) of Mahendra Singh Tikait and some other farmers’ organisations in the western UP have extended their support to VP Singh. Thus if the government bans farmers’ entry into Dadri, the large gathering on the border of Hapur district could pose a serious law and order problem.

Babbar has been roaming around in the region to mobilise support. The JMA has planned to capture 2,500 acres of Reliance land and plough it. Apart from various political parties including the CPM, several social activists would also be joining the march.

Babbar, quite confident of the success of the march, said on Monday that there was massive enthusiasm among the farmers on the issue. He said the government would not be able to stop people from marching to Dadri. Babbar said the entrepreneurs never wanted to set up the power project, as their sole aim was to grab huge prime land. He said rich agriculture land had been acquired on a throwaway price to help the Reliance group.

The State Government has, however, opened a front against the Congress-led UPA government for the delay in implementation of the Reliance project. Chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has accused the Union Petroleum Ministry of causing delay in fixing the cost of gas for the project.