Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti slams netas too busy to meet house panel
YAVATMAL: Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishore Tiwari has slammed the 'indifference' of MPs, ministers, MLAs and other people's representatives to farmers' plight. Tiwari's comments came in the wake of the March 2 visit by parliamentary standing panel on agriculture during which no public representative turned up to brief panel head Basudeb Acharia on the farmers's issue and prevailing agrarian crisis.
NCP leaders, including ministers and legislators, arranged a programme to felicitate the newly elected Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad members but did not meet the panel members.
Social justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe and his supporters arranged a 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony at Pandharkawda despite the scheduled visit to Sonbardi, a village in his own constituency.
Yavatmal MP Bhavana Gawali (Shiv Sena) considered the visit as a routine affair and did not attend. Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Rathod preferred to work in his constituency as a volunteer for the 54th death anniversary of Mungsaji Maharaj of Dhamangaon Deo.
MPCC President Manikrao Thakre and other MLAs of Congress did not meet the panel members. Chandrapur MP Hansraj Ahir of BJP too was not seen.
The panel was scheduled to visit two villages - Bhambraja of Yavatmal Tehsil and Maregaon Sonbardi of Pandharkawda Tehsil. Elaborate arrangements were made so that the panel was able to interact with the farmers and acquaint themselves with the issues confronting them.
District collector Shravan Hardikar came out with a report that the panel cancelled its visit to village Bhambraja which was once known to produce white gold but later saw a downtrend after the farmers were asked to use the Bt cotton. Irked over the report of the cancellation of visit, villagers staged protests and blocked roads.
The panel went to Pandharkawda and met a few farmers. But, Tiwari alleged, farmers or their representatives with vested interests, were introduced to the panel. Efforts were also made to hijack the panel's scheduled visit to Sonbardi.
'Finally, on our request Acharia agreed to go to Sonbardi and listen to grievances of affected people," said Tiwari. The panel visited Sonbardi and just before the start of public hearing, two members, Upendra Kushwaha and Satyavradh Chaturvedi left for Bambraja.
The two members went to the venue where hundreds of farmers and farm widows were anxiously waiting for them. The farmers and farm widows spoke about their problems and appealed the two parliamentarians to find a permanent solution to their woes