Talks with Medha Patkar remain inconclusive, not to break her fast
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Talks with Medha Patkar remain inconclusive, not to break her fast

india Updated: Aug 05, 2017 23:00 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times
Medha Patkar,Narmada bachao andolan,Bhayyuji Maharaj

Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar during her indefinite fast in MP.(PTI Photo)

The Madhya Pradesh government deputed spiritual leader Bhayyuji Maharaj from Indore and other senior bureaucrats on Saturday to hold talks with activist Medha Patkar and convince her to end her fast.

However, talks with the team, which reached Dhar on Saturday, remained inconclusive as Patkar apprised it of the incomplete rehabilitation and resettlement process of those affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project.

Sources said the government decided on Friday that a team comprising Maharaj (who has a strong influence in Marathi politics); Sanjay Dubey, Indore commissioner; Vishwambar Choudhary, environmental activist from Pune; and Chandrashekhar Borkar, a senior bureaucrat in the chief minister’s office (CMO), would be deputed to hold talks with the agitating Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leaders.

Reacting to the team’s visit, Himshi Singh from NBA said, “We asked them whether they had any authorisation or letter to show that they had been mandated to hold talks with NBA and affected people. They told Patkar that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was concerned about her health and had sent them to talk to her.

“They said they were messengers and would apprise the chief minister of the issues and concerns raised by us. Patkar told them that even the Supreme Court order clearly pointed out that people could be evicted only after rehabilitation and resettlement had been completed.”

Andolan leader Medha Patkar and 12 other supporters are on an indefinite fast since July 27 at Chikhalda in Dhar district, demanding just and complete rehabilitation and resettlement of people affected by the project.

The organisation claims the project will affect nearly 40,000 families in the submergence area once the water level starts rising in the dam backwaters .

Speaking to HT on phone from Pune, Choudhary said as he was unable to visit Dhar since he was unwell.

“But I am in touch with NBA leaders on phone. We are all worried about Medha Patkar’s deteriorating health,” he said.

First Published: Aug 05, 2017 23:00 IST