Left hails SC warning on adequate rehabilitation

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New Delhi, Apr 17: Hailing the Supreme Court's order on Sardar Sarovar dam as " very good", the Left parties today urged Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar to end her 20-day-old indefinite hunger strike sayig she had succeeded in bringing the rehabilitation issue on the national scene.

''Besides the Apex court has given a a stern warning to the state governments to adequately rehabilitate the affected oustees otherwise it would be left with no other alternative but to stop the dam construction,'' the CPI(M) and CPI told UNI.

The Supreme Court today said it would have no option but to stop the ongoing construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam if relief and rehabilitation meausres to be provided to the oustees were found inadequate.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan held that the Supreme Court order virtually endorsed the viewpoint of the Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar." The Supreme Court indeed has asked the Government to rehabiliate the persons displaced due to the dam in letter and spirit. On the question of rehabilitation, the GoM had given a very factual report.''

Earlier,Mr Bardhan along with eminent socialist and intellectual Surender Mohan and distinguished journalist Kuldip Nayyar called on Ms Patkar at the AIIMS. They are understood to have persuaded Ms Patkar to give up her hunger strike following the apex court's order focusing on the rehabiliation aspect.

CPI(m) veteran and polit bureau member M K Pandhe said," the Supreme Court order shows a positive approach... it is good that the Court has focused so much on the rehabilitation of the oustees in a big way.. it is a very good step." Mr Pandhe said Ms Medha Patkar should " call off her hunger strike now."

The Supreme Court had in 2000 directed the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh Government to rehabilitate the persons displaced due to the dam, most of whom are tribals and farmers. The Centre today gave the figures of over 13000 families who had yet to be settled in MP, while the state government claimed to have rehabilitated all the oustees.

On the Prime Minister's role, the CPI(M) leader said Dr Manmohan Singh seemed to be in quandary because of the " inner contradictions" in his party. It may be noted that the Gujarat Congress joined hands with the the BJP state unit, apparently for political reasons.

On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's appearing on the scene and beginning a 51 hours hunger strike, the CPI(M) leader said it was a politically motivated move." It is not fair.'' CPI National Secretary D Raja said the Supreme Court earlier also had also given direction for proper rehabilitation of the displaced people." But now it has given a time framework.".

Referring to the Apex court s warning to the concerned states on rehabilitation, Mr Raja said they could not shirk their responsibility." And the Centre can also not keep quiet." Urging Ms Patkar to end her hunger strike, the CPI leader said she had succeeded in bring the rehabilitation issue on the national platform and had underlined various dimenstions of the issue.

In a mild criticism of Mr Modi, he sought to impress upon him saying that," No body can leave the displaced people in the lurch in this fashion.

The state governments had now been warned that a proper rehabilitation had to be provided, he added.

UNI

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