Seeking to regain its political base among the tribals in western Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party has switched from championing the World Bank-funded Narmada dam -- its policy when it was in power -- and now wants the project to be reviewed.
Party secretary Govindacharya, who recently inspected rehabilitation facilities in Jhabua, Alirajpur and Barwani, says the BJP now supports the people who oppose giant dams in favour of small and medium irrigation projects.
With an eye on the Assembly elections, the BJP has suddenly begun lauding tribals and activists for their determined opposition and their peaceful agitation against the dam. The demand for better rehabilitation is even being made by the former chairperson of the Narmada Valley Development authority, who was at loggerheads with the activists when the BJP was in power.
Meanwhile, villagers are being forcibly ousted from Anjanwada village in Jhabua district, which will be submerged during the first phase of dam construction.
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