Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Ajay Singh today demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the ongoing protest by farmers against the NTPC in Narsinghpur district.
Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Ajay Singh today demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the ongoing protest by farmers against the NTPC in Narsinghpur district. He expressed apprehension that the agitation at Gadarwara might take a turn like the one in Mandsaur in which five farmers were killed in police firing last year. Singh, Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, has written a letter to the prime minister, Union Energy Minister R K Singh and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in this regard. “I demand immediate intervention in the ongoing agitation by farmers against the NTPC at Gadarwara over non-fulfillment of the promises made to them. I suspect that it may lead to a crisis like the Mandsaur,” Singh stated. He claimed that hundreds of acres of farm land had been acquired by the NTPC for its proposed 3200 MW plant and farmers were promised to pay Rs 18 lakh per acre.
Singh said the farmers were also promised that they would be paid the annual bonus of Rs 30,000 per acre for the next 30 years. He said the NTPC agreed to provide employment to at least one family member of affected farmers, but none of the promises were fulfilled. The Congress leader said though the protest was going on for the last 15 days, the chief minister had “no time” to visit the farmers. “Farmers are agitating on the issue for the last 15 days but the chief minister had no time for them as he is busy in election tours and in the ongoing ‘Ekatm Yatra’,” the opposition leader said.
He alleged that NTPC, the largest energy conglomerate in the country, has “betrayed” the farmers. “This may lead to a situation like Mandsaur and Haat Pipalya (where violent protests by farmers had taken place),” he said. Taking a jibe at the chief minister, Singh questionned the “silence” of Chouhan “who always describes himself as the son of farmer”. Chouhan’s “silence” shows that he had no concern for peasants, he added. The NTPC has so far not reacted on the issue.