Agra: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met thousands of landless tribals, who are marching from Gwalior to Delhi under the banner of Ekta Parishad, in Agra on Wednesday. The tribals numbering over 50,000 have been marching for land and shelter rights. Organisers and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh have reportedly reached an agreement which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has to now endorse.
After days of parleys, Ekta Parishad, which is leading a march of tribals to Delhi to press for land reforms, is understood to have reached an accord with the Centre and Ramesh is expected to meet the protesters in Agra on Thursday. The Parishad Media Coordinator Jayant Singh Tomar said Ramesh has obtained clearance from the Prime Minister on the all the points on which a consensus was reached between the Centre and the protesters.
Ramesh, who reaches Agra on Thursday, would be apprised of the decisions taken by the Parishad after its meeting in Agra. The minister on Tuesday said that "the nation will get happy news" in Agra when the rally of landless poor, led by Ekta Parishad leader PV Rajagopal, reaches the city. "We are having a constructive view of the demands raised by Ekta Parishad and we have discussed a lot over it. I am happy that we are heading towards an agreement and the day after the nation will get a happy news from the city of Taj Mahal (Agra)," Ramesh said after his meeting with the representatives of Parishad in Delhi on Tuesday.
Under the banner of Ekta Parishad, headed by social activist PV Rajagopal, thousands of people are marching to Delhi from Gwalior demanding a comprehensive National Land Reforms Act and effective implementation and monitoring institutions to provide access to land and livelihood resources to the poor landless, homeless and marginalised communities. The 'Jan Satyagraha' began on October 2 and is scheduled to carry on for one month before culminating in New Delhi. the protesters would cover a distance of about 320 km by October 28.
Ramesh, who had gone to Gwalior along with Minister of State for Industry and Commerce Jyotiraditya Scindia to pacify the activists, said that "I am fully hopeful that when I return from Agra everyone will he happy. "I will address from their camp and we are heading in a direction from where we can sign the agreement. I have full hope that the day after there will be a historic agreement in Agra," Ramesh said.
SC Behar, a member of the Ekta Parishad, said that "a detailed account is being prepared and the day after you may get some very interesting things. "There is a hope that good things will happen the day after," he said.