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Trouble for Cong in Saurashtra as one more leader faces arrest

The Congress party seems to be in trouble in Saurashtra as the Gujarat High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of the party's Amreli MP in connection with a case of cheating the farmers of the region.

Written by Express News Service | Rajkot | Published: January 7, 2009 12:26:17 am

The Congress party seems to be in trouble in Saurashtra as the Gujarat High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of the party’s Amreli MP in connection with a case of cheating the farmers of the region.

At a time when the Party is struggling to save its Jasdan MLA Kunvarji Bavalia,the possibility of Virji Thumar’s arrest cannot be ruled out.

Bavalia’s anticipatory bail application in connection with a murder case has also been rejected by the court.

In December,the Congress had to get into damage control mode to end nearly a 40-day fast observed by members of the Amreli District Farmers’ Welfare Committee demanding Thumar’s arrest.

With Bavalia and Thumar embroiled in controversy,the Congress has a lot to worry as Parliamentary elections are round the corner. In addition to Bavalia and Thumar,the party’s only other influential leader in the region is Dhoraji MLA Vitthal Radadia.

Twenty-two court complaints and two police complaints in Rajkot and Junagadh have been registered against Saurashtra Kisan Vikas Trust (SKVT) president Dinesh Thumar (the nephew of Virji Thumar),vice-president of the trust,J B Thumar (Virji’s cousin),and trust supporter (Virji) of committing fraud. According to the complainants,the trust did not pay its members promised subsidies on equipment like mini-tractors,due to which they incurred losses worth lakhs of rupees.

The HC rejected the anticipatory bail application of the MP on the ground that the charges levelled against him were quite serious and that they should be properly investigated.

The SKVT has raised its hands after promising subsidies to member farmers in purchase of agricultural tools and equipment including tractors. The farmers have alleged that they have lost not only subsidy but also the membership money. Against a purchase of a mini-tractor worth Rs 2.11 lakh,the SKVT had promised the member farmers a subsidy of Rs 50,000.

Later,the trust,which was formed three years ago,announced its inability to provide the promised subsidies due to shortage of funds.

The farmers have alleged that the Congress MP had openly supported his relatives on a number of occasions. They said it was following an appeal by Virji Thumar that the farmers had decided to become the members of the trust and go for various schemes.

Amreli police said that they have been investigating the cases as directed by the courts.

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