PADDY, HABITATION DISPLACEMENT and RELOCATION, POLLUTION WILL BE ACE FACTORS IN SECOND PHASE OF POLLS
CHHATTISGARH TIMES. Stealing the show for the second phase of assembly polls in the state will be factors like paddy procurement and waiver off for farmer loans, habitation displacement and their proper relocation, pollution and it’s method for curbing and improvising.
Prime political parties such as the Congress and Bhartiya Janta Party has in it’s election manifesto taken the above mentioned factors on a very grim note. From Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi and from Raman Singh to Bhupesh Baghel everyone seems to be a bit over caring for the farmers, who suddenly has become the cynosure of everybody’s eye. Extreme tragic suicide cases of farmers has been reported from the state in the past but the lone peasant had no one to look up to in times of financial distress, the ruling party or the opposition had mere words of sympathy, leave apart any aid or assistance. Now the Congress says that they will forego all farmer related loans even swearing by the holy waters from the Ganges. Is it melodrama or theatrics? Or is it some poll bound hollow promises only time will tell. The BJP seems to be sailing in the same boat as it’s manifesto boldly tells about the MSP of paddy to be fixed at 2500+ and the additional bonus which will be meted out. During the first three years of this present government it seems that all was well with our farmer friends and they were living a life of bounty consequently the government did not pay any bonus on paddy. All of a sudden the fate changed for them crippling them financially and every political parties’ heart went out to them.
It must be well remembered by many that the 10 years of UPA tenure saw a historical bill ” the land acqusition bill” passed in parliament, thereby giving tribals and farmers the right to get 4times more amount for their land in case of government acquisitions. In large parts of Sarguja,Jashpur and Raigarh forest land held by farmers through “patta” has been nullified for the purpose of mining.Coal mining dominates this part of the state which is mainly influenced by tribal people. For the purpose of mining and setting up of industries huge habitation settlements have been displaced without proper relocation being administered. The locals are seething with anger and their wrath seems to be against both the ruling party and the opposition alike. Around 11000 ” forest patta” were cancelled by the government and the opposition dares to say that the government pays only twice the compensation against the 4 times that’s defined in the bill. When these settlements were displaced why did not the opposition speak out for the people? Inferences drawn on these issues concludes that they were hardly interested. The ruling party says that with the advent of mining local employment has seen a boom, infrastructural growth has soared and so has the education standards. Well this is a double edged sword because it has brought with it pollution and health hazards . Korba is the 5th most polluted city in the country and a blanket of dust from coal mining embraces this city, Champa and Raigarh is also struggling to deal with this demon of pollution as the power plants ever engulfing smoke flaunts all levels of pollution standard. Election manifesto of both the parties seems to be well decorated with this issue and they are promising some comprehensive ground level work with scientific and technical approach. Again is it a genuine thought or a poll bound mock drill is a question unanswered .
Coming back to the farmers, they seem to play the political card as well because their reluctance to sell the paddy now seems to be a well calculated move. Selling it now would mean that their previous loan would be adjusted, so they are out with the waiting game and queuing up patiently for the next government to settle in.
It’s “THE” penultimate session and whoever comes to power is immaterial but let democracy have the last laugh and people be the ultimate winner.