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Cong, BJP tussle over relief to transporter’s family

With the Congress declaring support for the transporter’s family, the matter of compensation demand by the family has assumed political overtones

dehradun Updated: Feb 14, 2018 21:46 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
transporter’s family,Prakash Pandey,Congress
Mother mourns over the body of Prakash Pandey in Haldwani. The transporter’s family has been demanding a government job and higher compensation.(HT File)

With the Congress declaring support for the family of transporter Prakash Pandey, who had allegedly committed suicide in January this year over losses incurred in the wake of demonetisation, the matter of compensation demand by the family has assumed political overtones.

Pandey had consumed poison during the Janata Darbar of agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal on January 6. After his death, it was found that he had been reeling under the impact of demonetisation and did not have enough money to take care of the family. The dumpers purchased by him for quarrying-related activities were not engaged in work.

Pandey’s family members, who live in Haldwani, have alleged that the state government has not paid any compensation due to him. On the other hand, the government has said that it would not pay any compensation, as Pandey committed suicide and the compensation may encourage more such cases.

The dust had hardly settled in the matter that another transporter from Dehradun, Balwant Bhatt, committed suicide on February 7 citing losses in the transport business, which has given the opposition an opportunity to attack the government.

The Congress alleged that the transporter had committed suicide due to the ill-effects of Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation. Congress leader Sumit Hridyesh said the government has not kept its words of providing help to the bereaved family.

Pandey’s family, facing financial hardships, has given an ultimatum to the government to give it compensation by February 15, failing which the family members would sit on a dharna.

Darshan Singh Rawat, the chief minister’s media coordinator, said that around 12 people had threatened to commit suicide if their problems were not looked into. Some of them wanted the government give them permission to build path on forest land, said Rawat, adding that the government would not respond to such “unjustified” threats.

Hridyesh accused the government of neglecting Pandey’s family. “If need be, Congress activists will sit on a dharna, along with the family members,” he said.

BJP’s Kaladhungi MLA Banshidhar Bhagat, who had earlier announced compensation to Pandey’s family, said that ₹2lakh has been given to the family. “The chief minister has said that no compensation would be paid in such cases as it can become a trend. Let the Congress stage dharna. We are with the family and help them in every way possible,” he said.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 21:46 IST