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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Cong swings into action

AFTER UNION Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh?s wake up call to Congressmen to make their voice heard among those displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project, an 11-member State-level team has been formed.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 13:35 IST

AFTER UNION Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh’s wake up call to Congressmen to make their voice heard among those displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project, an 11-member State-level team has been formed.

The committee members will visit the rehabilitation sites and meet those displaced on April 26, 27 and 28 and then submit their report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Arjun Singh.

The committee includes State Congress president Subhash Yadav, leader of the Opposition Jamuna Devi, Captain Jaipal Singh, Ajay Singh, Hiralal Silawat, Ramlal Yadav, K K Mishra, Mujib Qureshi, Anil Jat, Archana Jaiswal and Pushpa Bharti.

The committee was formed after Subhash Yadav met Arjun Singh in Ujjain yesterday to placate him. Arjun had gone so far as to say that if the Congressmen could not take up the issue, they should stop pretending to be politicians.

Arjun Singh’s outburst against the Congressmen in Indore on Saturday for their failure to take up the cause of Narmada dam oustees had an emotional tinge to it. And he had every reason to be so; for though many in the Congress party might have forgotten, the first voice for the dam oustees was raised in the Congress party in 1978 by Arjun Singh and others at Khalghat and other places in Nimar.

At that time late Virendra Kumar Saklecha was Chief Minister of the BJP Government. It is, of course, another story why the Congress party subsequently failed to represent the case of the dam oustees.

Sources in the Congress said that at that time neither Medha Patkar nor Baba Amte, who have between them have now become the sole spokespersons of the dam oustees through the Narmada Bachao Andolan, were anywhere on the scene.

The main leaders in favour of providing proper resettlement to the dam oustees among others were Arjun Singh and former minister Suresh Seth. The State Congress president Subhash Yadav was also there, but at that time he was a minor leader in the Congress, but since his area – Kasrawad - was being affected, he was also present.

Some of the people who took part in the historic agitation recall that it was raining heavily on that day where they blocked the Agra Bombay Road for six hours creating an unprecedented traffic jam. Subsequently, after the blockade was lifted, a huge meeting was held at Anjad at midnight, and then another meeting was held at Barwani at 5 am, and later at Kasrawad and Khargone.

A few days after the agitation, the Assembly began its session and once again the Congress raised the matter. In fact, the Congress party led by Suresh Seth was so vociferous in its protest that the latter was thrown out of the Assembly!

First Published: Apr 25, 2006 13:35 IST

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