Munda meets PM, discusses encroachment drive in Jharkhand
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Last Updated: Monday, May 02, 2011, 16:17
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of controversies surrounding the anti-encroachment drive in Jharkhand, Chief Minister Arjun Munda on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought to know the Centre's stand on encroachment of land belonging to central PSUs in the state.

Six persons have been killed so far in the anti-encroachment drive in the state far.

While the state government has been insisting that the demolition drive was carried out on the directions of the high court, the opposition Congress-JVM alliance has been attacking the government over the issue questioning the drive as well as the government's rehabilitation policy.

Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay and former Chief Minister and JVM (P) chief Babulal Marandi have been attacking the BJP-led state government on the issue. Congress and JVM (P) are alliance partners in Jharkhand.

Emerging after an one-hour-long meeting, Munda told reporters that it was being publicised by "some people on behalf of the government of India" that there is no order from the High court regarding removing encroachment from PSUs and it is being done in Jharkhand at the Chief Minister's behest.

"If the government of India clears its position vis a vis PSUs on this matter, it will be better. The state government has no interest or intention to interfere into another's domain. We will do what is judicious in the light of the High Court's decision. We have told the Prime Minister that the central government should take a decision regarding PSUs," Munda said.

Four persons were killed during protest against the anti-encroachment drive in Dhanbad a few days back. Two persons were earlier killed in a similar incident in the state capital Ranchi.

The incidents have apparently put the state government on the backfoot as a few days back it had decided to construct flats to accommodate 8000 displaced BPL families who lost homes during the anti-encroachment drive at different places in the state.

The anti-encroachment drive has been going on at various places in the state for the last four weeks after the Jharkhand High Court directed the administration to implement its orders passed between 2003 and 2006 against encroachment of government land.

Munda said that he had apprised the Prime Minister that the anti-encroachment drive was being carried out as per the High Court order and the state government has a proper rehabilitation policy to deal with the situation.

The Chief Minister also apprised Singh of the drought situation in his state and demanded additional foodgrains for 11 lakh families who are in the state's BPL list but not included in the central list.

BJP's alliance partner JMM has showed signs of annoyance with the on-going drive. However, Hemant Soren, one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers in Jharkhand along with AJSU leader Sudesh Mahato accompanied Munda during his visit here and said they are together on the issue.

Investigation is on and efforts were to nab the culprits, he added.


First Published: Monday, May 02, 2011, 16:17

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