rigad-voting-3Voters have sealed the fate of Mukesh Ambani’s SEZ in Raigad. Archana Tripathi spent the day at Raigad on the day of the referendum to get all the details. Of the 22 villages in Raigad district, 28,000 farmers came forward to give for their vote for the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Group’s proposed Special Economic Zone. The land-holders and their successors have voted against the SEZ. During the voting process, farmers of Badhav village, six kilometers away from Pane led out a morcha in which many children participated showing their protest against SEZ too. Reliable sources reveal that some Reliance agents tried to woo the voters by giving them cash of Rs 10000 to vote for the SEZ but sharp protest by the farmers failed them in their scheme. With no stamp on the forms, some farmers raised voiced against the transparency of the procedure. Even social worker Ulka Mahajan who is protesting against the reliance SEZ stated the need of having stamp on the form and warned that if any kind of treasury was found that they would not stand it. SEZ Opposition Committee’s Vaishali Patil, Ulka Mahajan, NCP leader N D Patil, Advocate Jayant Patil and other leaders visited the villages to encourage the farmers to vote. Whereon one hand, the state speaks that the public hearing if for the benefit of the farmers, two days prior Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was seen stating that the voting was only to know the opinion of the farmers and that it was not the final decision. There were also some farmers who neither spoke for nor against the SEZ. Unfortunately, the local Deputy Collector was not even aware how many farmers wanted to come forward to vote. Social worker Medha Patkar too protested strongly against this SEZ. When leaders look for satisfying the rich people and ignore the interests of the farmers, people’s movement such as this is bound to intensify in the coming future. With cameraperson Dyaneshwar Mali, Archana Tripathi for NMTV News.

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