Madhya Pradesh tehsildars go on three-day mass leave
Days after patwaris struck work for three days in Madhya Pradesh, tehsildars across the State have gone on mass leave for the same duration starting Thursday demanding pending promotions, better wages and sufficient computers in offices. Tehsildars, under the banner of the Madhya Pradesh Revenue Officers Union, sat on dharnas in 52 districts of the State on Wednesday and Thursday. “To call it a strike won’t be appropriate. We have gone on mass leave for three days. We’ll meet the Chief Minister, and if he doesn’t accept our demands, will go on strike,” said Jitendra Tiwari, executive president of the union. The government must clear pending promotions it had withheld for a while now, he said. “Moreover, salaries of tehsildars and naib tehsildars are too less and need to be increased according to Grade A norms,” he added. Both patwaris and tehsildars had a major role to play in flood estimation, extending relief to farmers and distributing aid. Preliminary estimates pegged damage at more than ₹16,000 crore. And recently, Chief Minister Kamal Nath called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting an immediate aid of ₹9,000 crore and a resurvey by a Central team. ‘Major role’“We have a major role in flood damage estimation and that’s why we pushed this agitation back. The estimation process is almost complete,” clarified Mr. Tiwari. The government was ensuring no work was affected due to the mass leave, Manish Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, told The Hindu.“Even when the patwaris went on strike, the relief work wasn’t affected as most of it had been completed before it,” he said. “Obviously, the overall progress was affected, but relief was still given to farmers.” Patwari thawPatwaris called off their strike last Sunday after meeting Revenue Minister Govind Singh Rajput. Earlier, Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari had called patwaris corrupt, which had led to the agitation demanding a public apology from him. This had spooked both farmers and the government alike, triggering fears that the strike may hobble the relief process.