Monday, September 22, 2008

Farmers take on the Ambani might

The decision of the Maharashtra Government to allow the SEZ affected farmers to have a referendum on the future of the SEZ is unprecedented. Though there are reports of malpractices by “Reliance Agents”, the move will certainly avoid a Singur like situation. The farmers are up against the SEZ because the long awaited Hetawne Dam has just become operational allowing them to indulge in a year round agricultural income. This means the full agricultural potential of the area has not been tapped.

The voting took place yesterday but the media reports seem to contradict each other. While Times of India reported that 6199 out of 30057 people have cast their vote, Loksatta reported that 85% people made it to the booths. This can probably be explained by the statement of the Raigad Collector, Nipun Vinayak "It does not mean that nearly 24,000 account holders did not submit their opinion. When it comes to agricultural land, one person may hold more than three to four accounts. Therefore, the exact number of farmers who have made their decision clear will only be known later"
Let’s wait and watch the Great Indian Democracy in action.

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