Munda meets PM, discusses encroachment drive in Jharkhand

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought to know the Centre`s stand on encroachment of land belonging to central PSUs in the state.

Updated: May 02, 2011, 16:17 PM IST

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.