Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav on Thursday accused the Centre of "wilfully disobeying" a Supreme Court order on the 13 drought-hit states in the country."Universal access to foodgrain in drought-affected areas has not happened anywhere and no state is anywhere close to implementing this critical directive for the mitigation of hunger. The union government is not willing to accept its responsibility in this respect," Yadav told the media at the Press Club here. "The sabotage of MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme by not releasing funds in time continues despite scathing observations by the Supreme Court. The historic verdict of the highest court of the land is thus being disobeyed in more than one respect," the former Aam Aadmi Party leader added.
He said that despite forecast of a good monsoon, farmers in drought-hit areas are not ready for the next sowing since they have not received crop-loss compensation or fresh loans, despite clear court directive to religiously implement the government's policies in this regard.
Yadav said his Swaraj Abhiyan, in association with Ekta Parishad, Jal Biradari and National Alliance of People's Movements, had organised 'Jal-Hal' yatra from Latur in Maharashtra to Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh between May 21 and 31.Similar yatras were held in Telengana from June 2 to 4 and from Chambal to Bundelkhand between June 6 and 14 to assess the ground situation. "We call upon the central government to implement the Supreme Court orders in its letter and spirit. While the country hopes and expects a good monsoon, it is vital to realise that many consequences of drought will not go away with good rains," Yadav said. He said drought relief monitoring across all 13 drought-hit states will be taken up and a report presented in the Supreme Court when the case comes up for hearing on August 1.