Thursday, December 31, 2009

VJAS to join ‘Vidarbha Agitation’ on 3 & 4 Jan'10.

Fresh initiative on Vidarbha statehood -VJAS to join ‘Vidarbha agitation’ on 3 & 4 Jan'10.

NAGPUR: 1ST January .2010

The Union home minister P Chidambaram announcement that the UPA government ha shown seriousness on Telangana statehood and is trying to work out a mechanism in the January 5 all-party meeting has once again forced cong. Leaders start fresh initiative On Sunday, party leaders led by city congress MP Vilas Muttemwar(09422125000) will sit on a ‘Dharna’ in front of the Gandhi statue at Variety Square in a peaceful agitation to demand that Vidarbha statehood demand should be considered along with Telangana,as the demand for Vidarbha is much older and stronger than that of Telangana and in the Fazal ali Commission had classified Vidarbha as “viable, stable and suplus,’when rejecting proposals for Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand,” said an appeal signed by Nagpur (south) MLA Dinanath Padole, former mayors Vikas Thakre, Naresh Gawande and Kishore Dorle and Bijju Pande. They have appealed to all pro-Vidarbha activists to join the peaceful agitation on Sunday’

VJAS the pro-vidarbha statehood group has decided to join the agitation on 3rd Jan. in Nagpur . VJAS leader Kishore Tiwari today spoken to congress MP Vilas Muttemwar and extended the support to his very sincere efforts to give justice the dying people of vidarbha.

UPA Chief should look at the apathy shown in last 50 years, people of Vidarbha waited in vain to see development of the region remaining in Maharashtra. But this never happened and the region remains most under-developed in the country.

History of unjust with vidarbha as reported by congress MP Vilas Muttemwar in letter to smt.sonia Gandhi last week and


"In 1888, the British administration recommended formation of Vidarbha state to then commissionerate. In 1918, the constitutional review committee, the Dar committee and JVP panel had agreed to grant it statehood. In 1955, the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) comprising Justice Fazal Ali and Pandit Karzuru had unanimously recommended carving out Vidarbha state as it would be viable, stable and surplus," Muttemwar wrote.

He added that in 1988, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had realised the injustice meted out to the region had appointed now NCP leader PA Sangma to ascertain the feasibility of restoring statehood and, interestingly, he had also recommended its separation.

In 1996, a delegation of senior Congress leaders including working committee members and AICC general secretaries like Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Meira Kumar, K Karunakaran, Rajesh Pilot, Balram Jakhar, Mukul Wasnik, Vasant Sathe, NKP Salve, Sudhakarrao Naik and several prominent leaders from Vidarbha, besides Muttemwar had met with then PM HD Deve Gowda and submitted a representation for restoration of Vidarbha's statehood as recommended by SRC.


VJAS recalled Vidarbha’s frequent support to Congress that the party has been coming to power in Maharashtra since 1960. ‘We are totally convinced with the view of congress MP Vilas Muttemwar who said that the time has come for a separate state if not.,then the next generation and history will not forgive you if you fail to meet the aspirations and developmental dream of the people who see the separate state as the only solution now.even Father of Constitution Dr B R Ambedkar supported the idea of Vidarbha state as demand for separate Vidarbha was older than Telangana and a number of senior leaders, MPs, legislators and grass-root level workers belonging to this region had advocated restoration of statehood,as Vidarbha was not able to develop economically despite being part of a progressive state like Maharashtra. This was evident from the fact that over 7,000 farmers committed suicides due to lack of irrigation facilities.Further, five districts were facing problems of Naxal-infestation, besides numerous other problems like unemployment, load-shedding and lack of industries. The people are not separatists or destructive minded. However, if it is neglected further, the people could go to any possible extent to fight for their rights, it is fact ”,"Tiwari added.

VJAS is also attending the meeting called ex-MP and veteran dalit leader and grand son of Father of Constitution Dr B R Ambedkar , Balasaheb Ambedkar on 4th Jan. in Nagpur,Tiwari informed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

‘It is shameful to misguide people’ -P. Sainath

Date:24/12/2009 URL:

Opinion - Leader Page Articles

‘It is shameful to misguide people’ -P. Sainath

Well-known PR firms, professional designers, and ad agencies served the richer parties and candidates. They made up “news” items in the standard fonts and sizes of the desired newspapers and even “customised” the items to make them seem exclusive in different publications.

So you thought you’d had enough of Page 3? Newspapers in Maharashtra think otherwise. Some of them had more than one, on several days during the recent state elections. They even had supplements within supplements. So you had page 3 in the main paper. Then the main supplement with its own page 3. Then a further supplement within that, marked as Page III with Roman numerals (rarely, if ever, used in the Marathi press).

This happened mostly during the last days before voting as desperate candidates poured in money to buy “news.” As one senior journalist explained it: “On television, the number of bulletins shot up. In print, the number of pages. The demand had to be met. Often the extra package stuff came in at the last minute and had to be accommodated. Why turn them away?”

In Marathi, Hindi, English, and Urdu newspapers across the State, you can find many fascinating things during the election period that were not turned away. Sometimes the same puff item appeared as ‘news’ in one newspaper and as an advertisement in another. “It is shameful to misguide people,” reads the headline of an item paid for by Umakant (Babloo) Deotale, an independent candidate from Nagpur South West. This appears in Lokmat (Oct. 6) with a tiny ‘ADVT’ (advertisement) at the bottom. It appears the same day in The Hitavada (Nagpur’s leading English language daily) with no mention at all of its being an advertisement. Mr. Deotale got one thing right: it is shameful to misguide people.

Interestingly, a spate of genuine advertisements hit the pages on August 30. This was 24 hours before the election code of conduct — under which party and government expenditures come under scrutiny — came into force. After that, the word “advertisement” disappeared, and with it even the fig leaf of “response feature.” The items became “news.” There was a second surge of real ads just before candidates began filing nominations from September 18. This is because individual expenses come under scrutiny from the day the candidate files his or her nomination. Both these devices enabled the government, big parties, and rich candidates to spend huge sums of money that would not figure in poll expenditure accounts. Yet another device, widely used during the actual campaign, is absent in almost all candidate expenditure accounts: the massive use of SMS and voice mail messages. Also, the setting up of campaign-related websites. The amounts involved were significant. Their reflection in candidate accounts is nil.

“News” reports after August 30 and September 18 were fascinating in many ways. For one thing, there is not a single critical or negative line in any of them. Across hundreds of pages, the “news” consists solely of how wonderful particular candidates were, their achievements, and the progress of their campaigns. Nothing about the issues. Their rivals, people of fewer resources, did not exist in these newspaper pages except, perhaps, as fall guys.

Further, if you struck the right deal, the same “news” could appear in print, on television, and online. This was “package journalism” at its most advanced, that was truly multi-media. The shift to this kind of “news” was so large that real advertising at election time —when it should have been highest — actually fell in some influential newspapers.

Sadly, a few senior journalists had their bylines on some of the paid stuff. Some of them had the rank of chief reporter or even chief of bureau. A few may have done so willingly. But there were those who told me: “In the days when this was about petty corruption of individual journalists, we had a choice. To be or not to be corrupt. Now when this is an organised industry run by our employers, what choice do we have?”

Several newspapers published in Maharashtra between October 1 and 10, 2009 make fun reading. Sometimes, you find a page of mysteriously fixed item sizes, say 125-150 words plus a double column photo. The “fixed size” items are curious. News seldom unfolds in such rigid terms. (Advertisements do.) Elsewhere, you can see multiple fonts and drop case styles in the same page of a single newspaper. This was so because everything — layouts, fonts, and printouts came from the candidate seeking a slot. Even the bad pictures sullying the pages of organised papers came from candidates. There was no way a daily with two or three photographers could cope with the frenzy and demand of the first ten days of October.

Sometimes you got a more organised page or two — on which every single “news item” was on one political party only. No one else was found newsworthy on those pages. Page 3 of Pudhari (Oct. 6) worked for the Congress this way. Pages 3 and 4 of Sakaal’s Ranadhumali (“Tumult of the Battlefield”) supplement (Oct. 10) found only MNS-related items relevant. Other major parties too, those with ample resources, got such treatment elsewhere. There were pages where only the NCP made “news” (Deshonnati Oct.11). Deshonnati’s Sept. 15 edition had four pages on Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. Nothing else appeared in those pages. There were similarly 12 pages of Mr. Chavan in the Hindi daily Nav Bharat between Sept. 30 and Oct. 13 (which brings our tally of Chavan-centric full pages to 89). On the other hand, as D-day approached, you got crowded pages, some with as many as 12 items and 15 photographs.

Since candidates or their political parties mostly delivered the “news” in the poll-period, most papers did not edit or change a thing. How do we explain otherwise why the items and their “bylines” violate the papers’ own style or practice? At the very least, this raises troubling questions.

For instance, Sakaal normally credits reports from its own staffers as “Batmidar” (reporter). Or else as being from Sakaal Vruttaseva (News Service) or from the Sakaal News Network. Or it uses the reporter’s name in the story. But what are obviously Congress handouts (masquerading as news) come signed as “Pratinidhi” (correspondent). So you found the newspaper carrying items marked “Pratinidhi” against its own run of professional play. One of these party plugs signed “Pratinidhi” (Sakaal, Oct. 4) bears the headline “State’s leadership will return to Congress!” Sakaal places “Batmidar” at the top of its stories, the Congress handouts place “Pratinidhi” at the bottom. The two make odd bedfellows in the issues of October 4 and 9. Was this news? Was it advertising? Was it a bird or a plane?

Well-known PR firms, professional designers, and ad agencies served the richer parties and candidates, making up their items in the standard fonts and sizes of the concerned newspapers. They also “customised” the “news” to make it seem exclusive in different publications.

A handful of candidates, many of them builders, made more “news” than others. Conversely, smaller parties and less well-endowed candidates tended to get blacked out of any coverage in several newspapers across the State. Some of them have written to me, telling their stories. One, Shakil Ahmed, a lawyer and independent candidate in Sion-Koliwada in Mumbai, said the very newspapers that had earlier given him space as a social activist “demanded money to write about me as a candidate. Since I refused to pay, nobody wrote about me.” Mr. Ahmed is eager to depose before the Election Commission of India as well as the Press Council of India.

Journalists and activists from the districts sent us over a hundred issues of 21 different newspapers in the State. These ranged from high-circulation big names to small local dailies. All had their pages crowded with such “news.” In television channels, the same items making the rounds sometimes arrived as news on one channel and as advertisements on another. One such item appeared on two channels with the voice of a reporter from a third. And with the boom mike of the third channel showing up on rival screens.

As polling day approached, some journalists were besieged by desperate candidates with limited resources who risked being drowned in the flood. They needed professionals, they pleaded, to write their “paid news” items and were willing to shell out the modest amounts they could afford. The last days of the campaign actually saw some of these tiny items —reflecting the candidate’s financial status — find their way on to newspapers pages.

And these were elections, the news media told us, that had “no issues” at all.

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Small states are the right answer-Tushar Gandhi

VJAS welcomes Proposal of Public Referendum on the Vidarbha State

VJAS welcomes Proposal of Public Referendum on the Vidarbha State

Nagpur- 16th December 2009,

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti today welcome the proposal of MNS chief Raj Thackeray that the question of bifurcating the state as per last wish of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar who said that to make all round development of the region Maharashtra should be bifurcated into three separate states should be open for public referendum of vidarbha people.

"With Telangana setting the ball rolling, demand for Vidharbha state too has got the momentum. Now as political parties and some intellectuals are opposing the formation of Vidarbha State ,the public referendum on this issue will certainly throw light on the facts regarding injustice done to the region in last 50 years ,Maharashtra leadership has treated this region like colony and now slaves should be allowed to take their decision where they want the freedom or not” Kishor Tiwari of VJAS said today.

Here are some common public comments and sentiments as reported in national daily today that “Vidarbha region have always been discriminated against by the other parts of the state. Government is least bothered to take care of this area. In fact, it has never looked beyond Mumbai, Pune, Baramati, Thane and Nashik.

Million of tribal families are malnourish and dying due to starvation and million of distressed farmers are daily committing suicides is result of Vidarbha's backwardness and this has happened due to complete apathy of western Maharashtra leadership as region was deprived of big ticket investments and irrigation facilities.

There is no jobs for youngsters who have to migrate to cities like Pune and Mumbai in search of job opportunities. It is time the people of this region realized the raw deal meted out to them and raised their voice against the injustice. Statehood was the only solution to develop the region. He said the region was rich in natural resources, national parks, diverse culture and people with a passion for life. It is this wealth that prevented Vidarbha from gaining statehood because leaders of Maharashtra wanted control over people of vidarbha .

Vidarbha could be a strong state if given opportunity to lead and manage its own human and natural resources. The region was a real gold mine, the only way to gain statehood was for the people to unite and assert themselves and not depend upon any national or state party's promises.

VJAS to in letter to Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh urged him to arrange the public referendum on the Vidarbha Statehood, Tiwari informed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Remembering Dr.MG Bokare( first All India convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch)- Kashmirilal

Remembering Dr.MG Bokare( first All India convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch)- Kashmirilal

Last week I was in Nagpur to sit in a get-together of close associates of Dr. MG Bokre, the author of epoch-making book Hindu Economics and also the first All India Convenor of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch. They were sharing their rare insights about their association with that giant economist, grass-root activists of agrarian issues, and red-changed- saffron mass leader, all summed up in one – Dr.MG Bokre. I found that though there were so many books and research papers written by Bokre, but there was whole-sale shortage of material on Bokre’s life and activities from which a common activist can get inspiration. Hence this group meeting was organized with arduous efforts of Dr. Yoganand Kale and Prof. Ajay Patki.

Philosopher Bokre: First to divulge his mind was Prof. N B Vaidya and accepted that he adored him like his spiritual Guru. Dr Vaiya, an octogenarian, discussed his journey from Gandhism to leftism, and ultimately to Swadeshi. According to him Bokre had an unusual knack of going to the roots of a problem and he used to present a clear picture of the issue under discussion without any bias. Though he wrote extensively about the inadequacies and contradictions in the ideology of Marx, but not the integrity of Marx and admired his profound knowledge, tenacity of purpose and hard systematic pursuit of knowledge. He added that he had a profound knowledge of Hindu
religious scriptures also and ancient thinkers like Shukracharya and Chanakya were extensively quoted in his writings. Even in his busy days of holding the post of Vice Chancellor of Nagpur University he was busy reading and writing. Moreover few people know that besides Hindu Economics, Prof. Bokre had written Islamic Economics also when he noted injunction against usury in Islam and Christianity.

Guide Bokare: Retd. Principal Ajay Shrivastava, in brief, was stating his role as a guide and leader of masses. Starting from organizing Nagpur University Teachers’ Association (NUTA) to organizing farmers of Vidarbha and particularly establishing Cotton Growers’ Association, he was always busy in practical problems of the masses. He was particularly instrumental in initiating Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme of State Government. He pushed forward the movement of making available to the people the cost audit reports of industries despite strong opposition from traders and mill owners. Perhaps we know the
Dr. Bokare was twice jailed for leading farmers’ agitations. It is difficult to match these two qualities of erudition and agitation in one man. But Principal Panda had strong belief that had Dr. Bokare living at this time this vicious circle of farmers’ suicides in
Vidarbha would never had happened, and this he repeated many times in his exposition.

Friend Bokare: Third quality of Dr. Bokare that he was a friend of all
those in need. Prof. Narender Laghve, who is living a retired but untired life, has several stories of emotional and friendly aspect of Dr. Bokare. “Can you imagine”, he was putting a question to me, “that a professor of his stature can go to slums to knock at dilapidated doors of a jhuggi to inform him for an interview of lecturer post, and this happened with me also!” He used to help the poor but intelligent students to any extent, even distributing everything in his pocket and
then finding all of sudden that no money is left for retuning home by bus, and then borrowed it from others. The way he encouraged and developed young students was marvelous, he was explaining in emotional tone.

Father Bokare: Last person in this series was the younger son of Dr. Bokare himself that is Nitin Bokare, a leading and promising chartered accountant of Nagpur. His son had very few experiences to share and smilingly added that he was always busy reading, writing and talking with men of Shetkari organization. The only man in the family to whom he talked most, was his uncle Diwakar, but the talk was never about family affairs and always on economic and social issues exclusively, he added. We always held him in respectful awe and learned from his
studious and sturdy life style and the whole family imbibed it. So there were good instances collected if a Bokare as a Guide, Friend, Philosopher and also a few instances about a Father.
All the time with me there was two persons Dr. Kale and Ajay Pataki. All these personalities affirmed that Dr. Kale knows better than us that great man as he was closely associated with his, pen and penchant and personality. All the time Dr.Kale remained silent on the topic and promised to write an article on this topic and Ajay patki ji will look into the task of getting all these experiences jotted down in the form of a book. Let us wait for that inspiring book on Dr. Bokare.
Kashmirilal,Mobile 098682-71424 011-26182166,01124508789' Shiv Shakti Mandir, RK Puram Sector 8, NEW DELHI - 110022

Friday, December 11, 2009

Vidarbha case is stronger than Telangana: Planning commission and CAG report justify the Vidarbha Statehood

Vidarbha case is stronger than Telangana: Planning commission and CAG report justify the Vidarbha Statehood

Nagpur-11th December-2009

The central Govt.’s green signal to the formation of “Telangana”, has forced UPA chief to look at the millions of dying farmers and tribal of vidarbha the region which was merged with Maharashtra under the linguistic rearrangement of the States in November 1956. It was hoped that people speaking the same language will be more cohesive units for rapid and balanced development. But the history of economic development of Maharashtra during the last 50 years has proved otherwise. Some areas, especially Vidarbha is systematically neglected while its resources are used for the benefit of the rest of the areas.

Now most of CONG-NCP M.P.s and M.L.A.s are supporting the demand of vidarbha statehood and BJP, The who betrayed vidarbha people when NDA reconstituted states now supporting the demand hence with such political support, UPA should give green signal to vidarbha as Maharashtra assembly too has passed resolution of that effect long back, urged Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan samiti in letter to UPA chief Smt.Sonia Gandhi.

The letter further throw light on the facts that The Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh asked Planning Commission should study the facts related to unjust with vidarbha and

Planning Commission set up a Fact Finding Team on March 2nd 2006, to study the long term causes for rural distress and to suggest measures and alternatives to meeting the imbalance in investment in backward areas of Maharashtra with specific reference to Vidarbha. The fact Finding Report of the Planning Commission (May 2006) has found the deliberate neglect of Vidarbha by Western Maharashtra politicians irrespective of political parties to which they belong and also by the administration. The 244 pages Fact Finding Report has proved that Maharashtra government has been partisan in its governance of Vidarbha.The Planning Commission Report exposes the style of functioning of Maharashtra Government in very clear words. It will be useful and helpful to bring to the notice of all the people of Maharashtra the views of the Planning Commission that can set the ball rolling for justice.

The Planning Commission Fact Finding Team felt there was inadequate explanation for “this lackadaisical attitude in implementation of projects for Vidarbha and that there was ample reason to suspect collusion and connivance in not sanctioning the funds for the region and later to move for supplementary budgets, mostly for irrigation in Western Maharashtra.”

The history of implementation of the allocations since 2000, when the first allocations were indicated, shows that “the State has traditionally surrendered the provisions for Vidarbha, while, paradoxically, bulk of the State’s power requirements are drawn from this region. Even the need to provide energy for giving power to pump sets has not lead to a system of prioritization. While Nasik district alone has over 2 lakh pump sets, in Vidarbha the number can be equaled only by counting the total pump sets for 5 districts. The difference is not in the water table but in the treatment. Another major area pertains to irrigation, where the region has only 4% area under irrigation compared to rest of Maharashtra with almost 20% irrigated area.”

Information received from the Government of Maharashtra, Office of the Governor and the Statutory Development Board indicate that the implementation of the directives issued by the Governor of Maharashtra has not been satisfactory. The amount allocated by the Governor for the Irrigation sector and the expenditure reported by the State Government for the Annual Plans 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05 shows that “while there was shortfall in expenditure to the tune of Rs.2528.21 crore for Vidarbha, Rs.1147.65 crore for Marathwada for the three Annual Plans taken together, the rest of Maharashtra region recorded an excess expenditure of Rs.1585.67 crore.”

As regards inclusion of allocations made by the Governor in the Annual Financial Statement, the State Government has included those outlays as a one page annexure in the Annual Financial Statements. However, “the allocations made by the Governor have not been shown separately under the relevant heads of expenditure. Actual expenditure against allocation is likely to stay questionable as evidenced from previous track record of lack of effective monitoring and implementation systems; and lack of monitoring of implementation in identified sectors.”

As regards backlog, with special reference to implementation of projects for irrigation in Vidarbha, “the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister felt that the needs of Vidarbha area can be met only by augmenting the flow of funds through Central grants….. Their desire is to expand the irrigation capacity in western Maharashtra. Currently they are busy with all last mile projects where 75% expenditure has already been made in western Maharashtra.” on being asked why similar focused and coordinated attention cannot be made for completing irrigation projects in Vidarbha area, their response is that most of the irrigation projects in Vidarbha area fall in degraded forests area (‘Juddupi’ jungle i.e. degraded forest) and that EIA has not been made available by Ministry of Environment and Forests. The subsequent carrying of the directives of the Governor on the backlog allocations shown in the Annual Financial Statement has been followed by a weak implementation. “It would not be incorrect to state that this lack of implementation in some of the major areas of development is possibly one of the major causes of the present acute distress faced in this region.”

VJAS letter has given the details of CAG Report (2006-07) that also explosive, here are facts:

Besides the Planning Commission’s above detailed report, CAG Report 2006-07 brings out that Western Maharashtra (WM) benefited as the Vidarbha’s backlog piled up. The diversion of funds to the influential WM and northern parts of state, ducking Governor’s directives has led to irreversible regional balance. Vidarbha has been robbed of 70% of its funds”. Provision for irrigation made by the Governor was Rs.3119.79 crore but government allotted only Rs.1391.58 crore that resulted in a backlog of Rs.2528 crore.

Government subsidies have also been monopolized by the State’s powerful sugar lobby. Subsidies running into crores of rupees amounting to Rs.800 crores have been given to sugar factories and extended benefit of zero interest. Purchase tax of $ 63 million was waived for sugar factories and $ 212 million provided for buffer stock transport subsidies.

“3.2 million Vidarbha farmers consume 11. % of total electricity while sugarcane belt of Maharashtra accounts for 65.5%. Six sugar growing districts of Pune Division had 3.57 lakh pump sets in excess of the quota of 2004, while Vidarbha had deficit of 2.15 lakh pumps. 60% of State’s electricity is generated in Vidarbha. It has power but is politically powerless. Pune Division is entitled to consume 512 million units (MU) of power. Agriculture pumps in the Division consumed 1079 MU with a subsidy to the pump set of Rs250 per unit. Pune got excess subsidy of Rs.144 crores in 2007 and WM got Rs.560 crores. Against this, Vidarbha out of its share of 2668 MU consumed only 985 MU due to backlog of 2.15 million pumps resulting in a loss of subsidy of Rs.420 croes

VJAS has drawn the attention of UPA chief toward the apathy of Maharashtra Govt. to follow-up the Maharashtra Governor’s Directive, here are the details besides these two Reports, the Maharashtra Governor’s 38 pages Directive of 27th May 2009 under Article 371(2) of the Constitution regarding the irrigation sector laid on the table of Maharashtra Assembly in the Budget session is proof enough to confirm what Planning Commission and CAG Reports brought out in the their Reports. The Governor’s Directive has specifically instructed the Maha-govt. not to divert or deviate from the allocation made for irrigation. If such a diversion is noticed, the responsibility be fixed and reported to Governor. The Directive also makes the Planning Department responsible to Monitor this and send Quarterly Report to him. In addition, on the pattern of Krishna Khore, other basins benefiting Vidarbha and other areas should be developed. To check the government of Maharashtra to use all public debt for completing the irrigation projects of Western Maharashtra, Governor has strictly laid down that if such resources are raised they should be equally spent in all the areas. To keep watch on delay of irrigation projects in Vidarbha and other parts, the governor has asked the Maha-Govt. to submit Report to him about cost and time overrun of the projects in six months time. Goshi Khurd irrigation project of Vidarbha for which the foundation stone was laid by Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, in 1984 has yet not been completed.

“These two Reports and Governor’s Directive have unequivocally brought out that there is no political will on the part of influential leaders of Western Maharashtra to do economic justice to Vidarbha which they have systematically avoided during the last thirty years. The Marathi people came together in Maharashtra but the economic journey during the last 50 years shows that the leaders of Western Maharashtra and their government irrespective of the political parties shows that the time has come that Vidarbha will develop as a separate State rather than be part of Maharashtra”Tiwari said.

“We have very strong case than Telangana hence vidarbha state is must” Tiwari added.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

vidarbha relief package-Panel demands action on graft-The Times of India

Printed from

Panel demands action on graft

NAGPUR: A report tabled by the public accounts committee (PAC) in the legislature last month has indicated massive corruption in the implementation of prime minister's package for the region's farmers. The issue is likely to come up in the winter session, with the PAC chairman demanding stern action against the guilty.

The PAC is a legislative body which examines reports put up by the comptroller and auditor general (CAG). The report about the over Rs 3,000 crore aid package announced in July 2006, has been drafted on the basis of the investigations of the director of the relief package implementation. This investigation had taken cues from the CAG's revelations, which had undertaken a performance audit of the implementation of the package.

Talking to TOI, PAC chairman Girish Bapat said massive corruption has been found and the committee has recommended that legal proceedings be initiated again the responsible officers. "The PAC has tabled the report in the legislature and now it is up to the government to take action on it. It may be noted that two of the responsible officials have already retired from service," said Bapat. He said he would take up the issue during the Nagpur session and demand action on the basis of the report.

There have been several anomalies, especially relating to over-invoicing of purchases. Bapat who was in Amravati said he had also observed some peasants who had sold off their farms received grants under the package.

Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers organisation, has also demanded action on the basis of this report, said VJAS chairman Kishore Tiwari.

Quoting the CAG report, VJAS said the state runs the risk of a grant of Rs 2085.38 crore being turned into a loan. The PM package has a component of Rs 2177 crore to create irrigation potential in six suicide-prone districts. Of this Rs 2085.38 crore was to fund several medium, medium and major projects.

However, the Centre revised the eligibility criterion of funding in December 2006. According to new criteria, if the state fails to comply with the date of completion the amount would be treated as a loan. Hence, the possibility of completion within the stipulated time is remote.