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Voters in four Angul panchyats to boycott Odisha polls


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Angul, Mar 25:
Inhabitants of four panchayats under Chhendipada block in Angul district have decided to boycott the forthcoming polls demanding an end to coal mining in the Mahaguj coal mines.
Residents of four panchayats – Basantpur, Machakuta, Bagedia and Similipal- have been opposing the project ever since its inception over issues of land acquisition and rehabilitation. The Mahaguj coal mine is a joint venture between Maharashtra Power Generation Company and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation. Ahmedabad based Adani Group’s flagship company Adani Enterprises has won rights to develop and operate the coal block.
Incidentally, the people of these  gram panchayats in Chhendipada had boycotted the last Panchayat elections also to protest the notification for land acquisition in favour of the colliery.
The Odisha unit of Lok Shakti Abhiyan, a civil rights body, headed by rights activist Prafulla Samanatra, has been backing the local people in their fight against the arbitrary allocation of theirs land for coal mining operation by the Adani group.