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Marginalised communities in Rajasthan threaten to boycott Modi visit to Barmer

DH News Service, Jaipur, Jan 10 2018, 20:11 IST
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Reuters file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Reuters file photo

While BJP leaders are leaving no stone unturned to ensure maximum gathering at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foundation stone laying ceremony for Barmer refinery on January 16, the Kharwal community has decided to boycott the event.

As a mark of protest, the Kharwal community has threatened to hoist black flags atop their houses on the day. The community has been into salt extraction at Pachpadra (Barmer refinery site) for the last six centuries. They cited obliteration of the salt industry as the reason for boycott.

"We have informed the administration about the protest. We will hoist black flags atop our houses in Pachpadra and we will burn the effigy of revenue minister Choudhary for cheating us", Rakesh Kharwal, secretary of the community body, said.

He threatened a mass movement if their demands were not met. The community has more than 13 lakh members across the country.
In another big jolt to the BJP leadership, Sarpanch Sangh in Barmer has also announced a boycott of the refinery event. Sangh chairman Ugam Singh Ranigaun cited the government's apathy towards their demands.
Ugam Singh Ranigaun said, "Since last few months our demands such as BSR rates, work under NREGA, release of payment for material component in NREGA and disposal of online tenders, have been ignored by the government."
The Sangh has also decided to go on an indefinite stir from January 11.
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the 9MMT capacity refinery in 2013 and the party blamed the Vasundhara Raje government for delay in implementing the project which had lead to huge cost overrun.

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