Gujarat EDN

DNA  20APR2013

dna correspondent @dnaahmedabad

Ahmedabad: It was Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to Amreli district after the state government declared it drought-affected, but the people heard little about the government’s initiatives on relief. Instead, the CM linked unseasonal rain in Amreli on Thursday and Friday with divine intervention.
Modi was in Amreli on Friday to attend the annual function of Shantaben Haribhai Gajera Education Complex and to dedicate MCA College for Women to the society. His talks encompassed everything, including good wishes on Ram Navami, Gujarat’s progress in the last 12 years and development in education sector. He urged women to join Mission Mangalam project and take up sea-weed farming on the coast.
Protesting against the government’s alleged apathy towards farmers and scarcity of water, Congress workers staged a demonstration. They were led by former Amreli MP Virji Thumar and MLA Paresh Dhanani.
Initially, the opposition party had chosen a different venue for the protest, but opted for Nagnath Circle in the town at the last minute to avoid police and security forces. Protesters waved black flags and shouted slogans against Modi while marching for a few hundred metres, where they were detained by police. Their leaders, however, presented a memorandum to the mamlatdar on farmers’ plight, not getting relief on crop insurance, water scarcity and other issues.
“We had gone to give a memorandum to the CM about the scarcity situation in the district and request him for aid but we were detained by the police and not allowed to meet him,” said Dhanani. “Being in opposition, we are not bothered much about such practice, but it was a pity that CM didn’t utter a word about drought or announce any relief for Amreli district,” the MLA added.
“If he would have announced some relief, we would have welcomed him. But it has not happened. Today, Amreli district, which also has two MLAs from BJP, is facing acute shortage of water, fodder and financial aid to farmers,” said Dhanani.