The times of India
Tendu workers may boycott LS polls
Times news network
Hundred of the tendu workers, in a meeting held at Dabha village (Mankar) of
Pandharkawada on Thursday unanimously resolved to boycott the Lok Sabha elections if bonus was not distributed to them and action was not taken against the corrupt forest officials within 15 days.
According to tendupatta mazoor samiti chairman Suresh Bolenwar, over 40 lakh
tendu workers of Vidarbha and Marathwada region of the State are still waiting for their bonus of 2007-08 season. “We have been fighting for the bonus for the last several months. We staged dharna, hunger strike and took out rallies too. But nothing has materialized,” he said “If the government won’t listen to our demand, we will boycott Lok Sabha elections,” he cautioned.
Meantime, the Vidharbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishor Tiwari led a delegation of tendu workers to chief conservator of forest Anees Mohan at his office in Nagpur and apprised him of the grave situation. In reply, Mohan promised to ensure the payment of bonus to all eligible workers within a stipulated timeframe. He also said that if the forest officials are found guilty then action will be taken against them.
Later the delegation also met principal chief conservator of forest B Majumdar in his office and briefed him about corruption in bonus distribution and demanded a probe into the episode. Majumdar assured to conduct a probe.
Speaking to TOI Tiwari said, “The tribal tendu workers predominantly reside in Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Wardha, Nagpur, Gondia, Chimur, Buldhana and Amravati district in Vidharbha region and Hingoli, Nanded and Parbhani district in Marathwada region. So if they decide to boycott the elections, it will have significant effect on the overall poll result.”