Madhya Pradesh Congress stages walkout over compensation

January 12th, 2009 - 7:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Jan 12 (IANS) The opposition Congress Monday walked out of the Madhya Pradesh assembly demanding an adjournment motion to discuss the problem in Singrauli where work at the 1,200 MW Essar power plant has been stalled due to a clash between farmers and the administration over compensation for land. Soon after the house - that assembled after four days holiday - had paid tribute to former prime minister V.P. Singh and others, Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi of the Congress demanded an adjournment motion on the Singrauli issue.

Kedarnath Shukla of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who was in the chair, said the adjournment motion could not be taken up since the discussion on the governor’s address was to take place.

But the Congress lawmaker quoted various rules saying that an adjournment motion could be taken up even when the house was scheduled to take up the discussion on the governor’s address.

When the chair refused again, the Congress members led by Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi walked out of the house.

Work at the 1,200 MW Essar power plant, which is coming up on 450 acres of government land in Singrauli district, has been stalled after the villagers and the administration clashed over payment of compensation to those displaced in the four villages around the plant without any compensation to the majority.

The clash last week left more than 50 people injured and several families are said to have fled their homes fearing police action.

“Legally, the land belongs to the government. But we are compensating those who have been living there,” says Singrauli collector Vivek Porwaal.

The state rehabilitation policy of 2002 provides for compensation to the displaced if they have been living on government land for over a year.

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