Ekta Parishad, which was going to organize ‘Bhoomi Samvad Yatra’ from Budhni to Bhopal from February 19-24, demanding land rights for tribals, has decided to put off the protest. Now, a ‘Bhoomi Adhikar Panchayat’ will be held in Bhopal, which will be attended by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Ekta Parishad state convener Deepak Agarwal said the Yatra has been postponed as consensus on some issues was arrived after a discussion between chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Ekta Parishad founder PV Rajgopal. Agarwal said Chouhan has agreed on distribution of land to the deprived in collaboration with social organizations. Chouhan has also agreed on constitution of a committee for giving land ownership documents to the landless and resolving the issue of ‘Orange Area’ (Around 40 Lakh acres of land claimed by both the revenue and the Forest departments) and getting common land in villages freed from illegal occupation.
The government wants that Ekta Parishad should not organize ‘Padyatra’ in Budhni to highlight the problems of tribals. Chouhan told the Parishad functionaries the he is ready to communicate with the tribals from all districts under the banner of Ekta Parishad. He asked Rajgopal to take out the Yatra in three to four districts and not confine it to Budhni only. He said the government would solve all problems related to the tribals.
Chouhan said he is ready to attend any programme either in Bhopal or Budhni- organized by Ekta Parishad on February 23. During this meeting, Chouhan spoke to Sehore collector to immediately remove the ban on application for Patta by tribals. Chouhan said it would send a wrong message if the agitation is limited only to his constituency and hence, the programme should be given bigger dimension.
Ekta Parishad, after its meeting with Chouhan, is now mulling over changing the shape of the agitation. Rajgopal said only the Gandhian model of development could be effective in India. When Jawarharlal Nehru, after Independence, could not muster the courage to change the model of development then how Prime Minister Narendra Modi could do so. This cannot be expected from chief ministers. Rajgopal said if programmes like Narmada Yatra fail to change the way governments work then they are of no use. He said it is necessary to make rivers pollution free, only then farmers will be free from their problems.
State convener told “therefore EP has changed the strategy of Budhni to Bhopal foot march and Now, Bhoomi Adhikar Panchayat would be held in Bhopal on 23 February, 2017.