Sack Vilasrao Deshmukh, urge Vidarbha farmers

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NAGPUR - Farmers of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack Vilasrao Deshmukh as heavy industries minister after the Supreme Court Tuesday pulled him up for interfering in the enforcement of a law to regulate private money lending in the state.

We have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and requested him to sack Deshmukh and take possible legal action against him, said Kishor Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an NGO that protects the rights of farmers and farm widows of the region.

Local legislators are getting political protection with the help of top leaders and are exploiting the debt-trapped farmers who are committing suicide, Tiwari added.

The Supreme Court Tuesday reprimanded the former Maharashtra chief minister.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly dismissed the Maharashtra government’s appeal challenging the Bombay High Court order indicting Deshmukh and imposing a fine of Rs.25,000.

Dismissing the appeal, the apex court enhanced the fine to Rs.10 lakh.

Deshmukh invited the reprimand of the apex court for interfering with the police action on a complaint by farmers alleging family members of Congress MLA Dilip Kumar Sananda were involved in money lending.

Deshmukh’s private secretary Ambadas had asked the police not to register a FIR on the complaint of the farmers. This instruction of Ambadas was recorded in the police diary.

The judgement came after a petition was filed by Sarnagdharsingh Chavan representing the Vidarbha farmers, who had sought quashing of Deshmukh’s directions to stall investigations against Sananda.

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