Like the six previous gram sabhas, residents of Phuldumer in Kalahandi district on Monday rejected the proposal of mining claiming that their religious and cultural rights would be affected due to mining on Niyamgiri Hills.

All 49 members of Phuldumer village including 32 women attended the Gram Sabha held under supervision of additional district judge P K Jena. They all stated that their cultural and religious rights would be affected if mining is allowed.

Meanwhile, district president of BJD Balabhadra Majhi in a statement alleged that Kalahandi MP Das had influenced Gram Sabhas held so far. "The Supreme Court in its April 18 judgment had given rights to the local people to decide the fate of the proposed mining. But the presence of Das at Gram Sabhas do influence the members," Das alleged.

Stating that views expressed by the villagers was not other than the statement of Das, Majhi said that he had kept away from meeting the people despite being a Kutia Kandha in order to maintain transparency.

"I have been elected four times as MLA in a row, as a people's representative, I would have approached the tribal’s in their language to influence them before Gram Sabha," he said. "But I did not do that respecting the apex court judgment. However, Congress leader did not follow the court's directions," Majhi said.

Meanwhile, Das has clarified that he has not committed anything wrong as a people's representative.


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