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Gaon Sathi rally disrupts traffic

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 19

Vehicular movement between Ram Mandir square and Master Canteen square came to a standstill for around two hours on Monday as nearly 6,000 Gaon Sathis took out a huge rally from Ram Mandir square to lower PMG demanding fulfillment of their longstanding five point charter of demands.

Commuters passing through the stretch had a harrowing time while the rally wad on. People from around 50,000 revenue villages had lined up the road with banners and flags.

Shouting slogans, the agitators, under the banner of Gaon Sathi Joint Coordination Committee, took out the rally from Ram Mandir square at around 11.30 am and staged a demonstration in front of the Assembly to press their demands. The demands included job regularization, permanent appointment of the workers in their respective panchayats with a monthly incentive of Rs 4,500, repeal of five-member village coordinator panel and employment for 200 days a year to job card holders instead of the present 100 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

The Committee alleged that the workers, who discharged key functions as coordinators for implementation of different schemes and programmes at the grassroots level, were neglected. “We are qualified and had been recruited after a thorough test,” said committee State coordinator Laxmidhar Biswal.

“If the demands are not met, we will block all panchayat offices, block level offices and junior engineer offices across the state in the days to come,” he said.