CM’s Gramrakshak Dal plan may face farmers’ disapproval at Ralegan Siddhi
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CM’s Gramrakshak Dal plan may face farmers’ disapproval at Ralegan Siddhi

Supporters of farmer agitation have decided not to organise the function of setting up the gramrakshak dal until Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis resolves their issues

pune Updated: Jun 09, 2017 23:59 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Satyajit Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
maharashtra,pune,anna hazare
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis(HT File Photo)

The statewide farmers’ agitation has clogged the proposed initiative by Maharashtra government of setting up a gramrakshak dal in Ralegan Siddhi village. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and social activist Anna Hazare were expected to share the dais at the function scheduled on June 15.

Although the initiative of setting up a gramrakshak dal by the home department, headed by Devendra Fadnavis, was welcomed by the villagers, a resolution passed in the recently held gramsabha in the village has put the officials in a fix.

Supporting the farmers’ agitation, the gramsabha decided not to organize the function of setting up the gramrakshak dal until the demands of the state farmers were met. Anna Hazare, who has been fighting for a gramrakshak dal to be set up in the village, which is also his native place, for more than two decades now, was present at the gramsabha when the resolution was passed.

Sources said, Ahmednagar police have communicated the gramsabha resolution to top police officials and also the home department and are waiting for further directions.

Confirming the development, Sanjay Pathade, spokesperson from Anna Hazare's office, said the gramsabha had expressed its sentiments stating that the Chief Minister should not come to Ralegan Siddhi unless an appropriate solution was worked out for the farmers strike. “We cannot say anything further at this stage," he added.

However, if things did go as planned on June 15, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will distribute identity cards to seven gramrakshaks and release a book on government initiative on the scheme.

Sources close to Hazare said that they have not yet received any communication from the home department about the function. "Decision about function was taken two moths back while the farmers’ agitation began few days back. Home department is working out a solution on the current dilemma," they said.

The sources also said they do not want to push the function in the current scenario of agrarian crisis.Pointing out that Hazare's appeal to launch agitation peacefully and his willingness to mediate between farmers and government was not taken in proper spirit. The Chief Minister’s function in Ralegan Siddhi would further complicate the situation, they added.

A section of Hazare supporters are already worried by the campaign of few politicians and social workers that Hazare has adopted soft line towards Modi and Fadnavis government. They are suggesting Hazare to stay away from any further political controversy in the current situation, arising out of farmers agitation.

It may be recalled that Anna Hazare has been demanding the setting up of gramrakshak dal for almost two decades. The demand was first made to ban illicit liquor but the idea was changed in view of the increasing number of crimes in rural areas. Under the scheme, seven volunteers are appointed by District Superintendent of Police in every village, who work police force in solving the crime and also taking preventive measures to stop the crime. They are not paid any remuneration.

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 18:16 IST