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Gadkari has not evicted us,say ‘affected’ farmers

Gajanan remained away from the village and could not be reached

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur | Published: October 20, 2012 3:16 am

India Against Corruption leader Arvind Kejriwal’s allegation against BJP president Nitin Gadkari that his NGO has pocketed surplus land from a dam project at the expense of farmers falls flat considering what the farmers have to say.

“We have been tilling our part of the surplus land for many years now. Till 2010,we used to get it on yearly lease for Rs 1,000 per hectare from the Irrigation department. From that year it was given to Gadkari’s organisation and we were told we can’t get the lease anymore. But we are still tilling the land and Gadkari has not evicted us from there,” said Vishwanath Ghadge,elder brother of Gajanan Ghadge,who was one of the two farmers whose name had cropped up as the affected farmers in the IAC’s press conference.

Gajanan,however,remained away from the village and could not be reached.

The two farmers,Gajanan and Sachin Bhagat,allegedly affected by Gadkari’s NGO Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sanstha,had refused to join league with IAC at a press conference Thursday. IAC Nagpur chief Ajay Sanghi had said they were “under pressure”.

The dam in question,Wadgaon,is at Khursapar village,about 40 km from here.

Vishwanath said,“We (he and Gajanan) had about 87 acres before the project,all of which was acquired. We later purchased 12 acres each and have also been tilling the 17 acres from the surplus land on lease. A few years ago,four acres from that went to Gadkari’s organisation. But we have been tilling that also and nobody has stopped us. But we are afraid that it might be taken away from us in future.”

Earlier,Gajanan told a TV channel he had in fact got a solar fencing from Gadkari’s NGO as protection against wild boars.

He said he also got sugarcane seeds at subsidised rate from the NGO. “That’s government subsidy,not free from Purti,” said Vishwanath.

The other allegation that the farmers are not getting any water for irrigation and all the water is going to Gadkari’s Purti Power and Sugar unit was also shot down.

Vivek Kilawat,sarpanch of Bela,a beneficiary village,said: “We do get water,but not as much as we want. Like,we need it now for cotton. We haven’t yet got it. But it’s not true that we don’t get it.”

Charges against Gadkari ‘barren’

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena on Friday defended BJP chief Nitin Gadkari,saying corruption charges against him are as “barren” as the land he was allegedly allotted. “The allegations made against Gadkari are so weak,it shows their main objective is to gain publicity,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamna said. The BJP has been a Sena ally for over two decades but ties between Gadkari and the Thackerays haven’t been very cordial of late. ENS

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