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Sonia promises to ease Rajasthan water woes
June 23, 2005 17:36 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was in Rajasthan on Thursday to condole the death of five farmers killed in police firing during a protest against water shortage.
Sonia said the Centre would help the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state tide over its water crisis.
"It is shocking. One can't understand how and why the firing happened," she told reporters after she called on the families of the bereaved in Bhawari and Jhirana villages.
The United Progressive Alliance chairperson, however, parried a question when asked about the possiblity of the dismissal of the Vasundhara Raje government in the state.
She announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the dead and Rs 10,000 for the injured in the June 13 firing incident in Sohella village.
The families submitted a memorandum to her seeking legal action against the police officials involved in firing and also release of water from Beesalpur dam for their crops.
Ironically, rains lashed the area as Gandhi visited the parched region to console the farmers, who had been demanding adequate water from the Beesalpur dam for their land in the Tordisagar area.
She offered Central government's help to tide over the crisis if the local authorities came forward with plans.
As she arrived at Sanganer airport in Jaipur and changed over to a helicopter to fly to Tonk, BJP workers led by legislator Kalicharan Saraf and party general secretary Arun Chaturvedi waved black flags to protest her visit.
The BJP activists shouted "Sonia go back".