Arjun?s heart bleeds for SSP oustees
?MAKE YOUR presence felt. Show that Congress is still alive in Madhya Pradesh by raising the voice of poor tribals who have not received compensation after being displaced (due to Sardar Sarovar Project).? This was Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh?s message to Congress workers at Apsara Hotel Garden this morning.Updated: Apr 23, 2006 13:40 IST
“MAKE YOUR presence felt. Show that Congress is still alive in Madhya Pradesh by raising the voice of poor tribals who have not received compensation after being displaced (due to Sardar Sarovar Project).” This was Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh’s message to Congress workers at Apsara Hotel Garden this morning.
Upset over the Congress’s indifference over the issue, he asked them to visit the affected sites in small groups and help solve problems of the oustees. “There is no need for big agitations or hunger strike but don’t be a mute witness to BJP’s fraud,” the former State chief minister remarked about the rehabilitation figures provided by State Government.
Lamenting the lack of reaction on dam issue, he said that three Union ministers who visited the project sites also complained that there was no reaction from State Congress on the issue. “If you cannot act, then give up politics and mortgage it with BJP.
You will not get Chief Minister’s post on silver platter unless you prove your presence, strength and mettle,” he said of party activists eyeing plum posts.
Adding that he was too old for campaigns, he pointed out at his rival-turned-ally Suresh Seth, who was present during his address, and remarked that together they launched several agitations against BJP and checked its advance. ‘At least we raised the voice but today I find it conspicuously absent,” Singh said. He warned that if Congress failed to rise now, Fascist forces (saffron brigade) would overpower them.
Concluding his address, he said he would talk to State Congress president Subhash Yadav and leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi about the dam issue.
‘Raising dam height improper’
UNION HRD Minister Arjun Singh said that clearance granted by Narmada Control Authority to raise the dam height was inappropriate.
Talking to reporters en route to Ujjain, he expressed the need to analyse the shortcomings of rehabilitation package. When told that Congress and BJP had joined hands in Gujarat on the dam issue, he said let Congress rise to the occasion in the State first. Singh, however, refused to comment on Narmada Bachao Andolan. “I am not Medha Patkar’s spokesman,” he said when asked whether he supported her stand. Likewise, he refused to comment on the
Union ministers’ report on rehabilitation issue and the reservation in private educational institutions and industry. “I will not say a word on reservation issue; you may try your level best,” he said. To a query on BJP president L K Advani’s Janadesh Yatra, he said it was nothing short of drama. “Aise natak bahu dekhe hain,” he retorted.
First Published: Apr 23, 2006 13:40 IST