Digvijaya Singh stages protest near MP CM"s residence over plight of project-affected people

  • | Friday | 21st January, 2022

Bhopal, Jan 21 (PTI) Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday staged a sit-in near Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan"s residence here to highlight the plight of the people affected by the Tem and Suthalia irrigation projects.The Rajya Sabha member called off the protest after nearly four hours when the chief minister"s principal secretary Manish Rastogi assured him that Chouhan will meet him on Sunday.The Chief Minister was not giving him appointment to discuss the issue for the last one month, the Congress veteran had alleged.Talking to reporters before leaving the spot, Singh said, “I have categorically told Rastogi that if no meeting takes place on that day too, he will be responsible for it.” He and his supporters will then stage protests in the project-affected villages and not allow any construction machinery to be brought there, Singh said.State Congress chief Kamal Nath also joined in the protest for some time. Before that, he had met Chouhan at the state hanger (inside the airport).When asked by reporters, he said it was not a meeting as such but they were at the airport at the same time by coincidence.Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja said it was a “courtesy meeting” as Nath was returning from Chhindwara to Bhopal while Chouhan was on his way to Chidavad village in Dewas district.Digvijaya Singh and his supporters staged the sit-in near the chief minister"s residence in Shyamla Hills, singing the `bhajan" `Raghupati Raghav Rajaram" as police blocked the road leading to the CM"s house.Earlier, a state public relations department official said that Chouhan had granted time to Singh for a meeting around 12 noon on January 23. The message was sent before 11 am.But the veteran Congress leader went ahead with his protest over the plight of people affected by Tem and Suthlia dam projects in the three districts of Rajgarh, Bhopal and Vidisha.Singh had warned of protest if Chouhan did not grant him time for meeting by January 20.Later he informed that the chief minister had agreed to meet him around 11.15 am on Friday, but Chouhan subsequently cancelled the meeting on January 20 citing other exigencies.In a statement on Thursday, Singh had claimed that the chief minister had no time to meet the farmers whose land will be submerged due to the project, or him, a former chief minister and current Rajya Sabha MP.Earlier, in a letter addressed to Chouhan, Singh had alleged that the CM had not been giving him appointment for the last one month, and did not reply to his many letters on the issue.Thousands of acres of land will be submerged and many villages will partially or completely go under water due to the Tem and Suthalia projects, and very little compensation was being offered to the affected people, the senior Congress leader has alleged. PTI MAS ARU KRK KRK KRK

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