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Baghuvar: A self sustainable village in MP which is better than metro cities

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By Anurag Paul

Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Maharashtra, often coined as the best village of Modern India and the best example of ‘Gram Swaraj’ (Self Governance) has been the main source of media attention. Anna Hazare is often credited with this change.

There is one more village in Maharashtra, Hivre Bazar, about 45 Kms from Ralegan Siddhi and chances are that you have already heard of it. It is another village, which is  a living example of Gram Swaraj and now a place to be visited for sure if you want to see how a few hundred people can change the destiny of a village by their labor, long term planning and logistics management of natural resources.

But, there is one village which is miles ahead in development and social commitment if we compare it with the work done in Ralegan Siddhi or Hiwre Bazaar by its villagers. Known as Baghuvar, it is the only village in India which has functioned without a Sarpanch since independence, and that too efficiently.

Located in the block Kareli of district Narsinghpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh,  Baghuvar sets an example of an ideal village in modern India. It shows the way how people can love their villages and stop fleeing to cities for employment for a better life.

Baghuvar village has set an example of exemplary development and real Gram Swaraj. It does not have an Anna or a Popat Rao. Every villager of this small habitat is Anna himself.

No Panchayat Election

This is very unique about this village that there has been no Panchayat (Sarpanch) Election since India’s independence (68 years). Initial decisions related to work and development were lead by most respected person of the village called “Bhaiya Ji”. He worked day and night and took some very good decisions about village development. He got support from most of the villagers thus the village followed his shown path. In 2012 he breathed his last but the villagers still follow his dream and keep the village clean.

Effective utilization of government schemes

In this black age of corruption, none of the schemes reach a village in its true spirit and implementation; the money doesn’t reach up to the villagers at all. Hence, the government schemes go unsuccessful. But, in this village none of the government schemes fail because the villagers know how to effectively utilize development funds.

Sewage & Water Harvesting

What is striking at the very first sight once you reach this village is that there is no overflow of sewage in any street of the village, a very rare thing to see even the most developed cities of India. The village has underground sewage lines and the farm ponds have been built to conserve the rain water.

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Exemplary Self Development

Baghuvar boasts of the highest number of Gobar gas plants in the state. It has altogether 51 Gobar gas plants which are used to produce fuel for cooking and lighting the village. There are 35 tractors, 75 sugarcane processing machines, 25 hand pumps and threshers in the village which houses only 1600 people. To keep the village clean, 25 pits have been dug by Gram Panchayat for pouring the filth. These pits are auctioned every year and the money generated is utilized for Panchayat development.

Ghar Ghar Shauchalay

All the houses in Baghuvar have lavatories. There is also a common toilet complex which is made for the use if there is any social gathering in the village. Each locality is unique in cleanliness and decency. Especially, Harijan locality is the best in this regard where people go for a morning walk.

Green Village-Clean Village

Each and every corner of the village is green as if the entire village is a garden! There is no garbage and sanitation problem. People who migrated to nearby cities have started coming back to the village for resettlement.

They are now utilizing their experience, talent and knowledge for village development. When there was no approach road, the youth themselves constructed a three km road in the village. Impressed with their efforts, the government helped them in constructing the cement road which connects the village to the national Highway.

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Come April, government will be more comfortable in Rajya Sabha

Of the 100 BJP-allies MPs, 24 are retiring. Which means, the government will be left with 76 MPs

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Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
Parliament of India is a source of interest for many people because of various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
  • In April, the opposition may lose its edge over BJP in Rajya Sabha
  • NDA led by Modi has faced many embarrassments in Rajya Sabha in past few years
  • This is expected to change soon

Come April, the opposition in the Rajya Sabha may lose its edge in the numbers game and the power to stall any government bill, as the ruling BJP-led NDA coalition is set to catch up with its rivals, though a clear majority will elude them for a while more.

BJP to soon get more comfortable in  Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia commons
BJP to soon get more comfortable in Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia Commons

As 58 MPs, including three Nominated and one Independent, are set to retire in April, the Rajya Sabha math is going to change. It is set to favour the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the trend may continue in the elections to the Upper House later too with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having solid majorities in a number of state assemblies, especially the ones it won after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

With this, while the Congress-led opposition’s numbers will come down to around 115 from the present 123, the numbers of the BJP, its allies and sympathisers together would climb to around 109 from the present 100-odd members.

And the gap, once wide enough to let the opposition invariably have its say, will keep narrowing further in the coming months.

Of the 55 retiring members (excluding those Nominated), 30 belong to the opposition camp while 24 belong to the BJP and allies. Of them, a large number of NDA candidates are set to return while the opposition will lose a chunk of its members.

As things stand now, the Congress-led opposition has 123 MPs (including 54 of the Congress) in a house of 233 elected members (apart from 12 Nominated), while the NDA has 83 members (including 58 of BJP) plus four Independents who support the BJP (these include MPs Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Subhash Chandra, Sanjay Dattatraya Kakade and Amar Singh).

Rajya Sabha or the Upper House can often be a game changer while passing of the bills is in process.
Rajya Sabha or the Upper House can often be a game changer while passing of the bills is in process.

Also, for all practical purposes, the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), that has 13 members in the Rajya Sabha, is also with the NDA. This means the NDA’s effective strength in the upper house of Parliament is 100.

The gap was wider till just a few months ago. This meant that during any battle between the government and the opposition in the Upper House over bills and major issues, it was the opposition that invariably had its way. The recent example was the triple talaq legislation that the opposition stalled in the upper house, demanding that it be referred to a Select Committee.

For over less than four years, the Narendra Modi government had faced quite a few embarrassments in the Rajya Sabha thanks to the majority of the opposition, forcing it often to take the money bill route to avoid a clash in the house. Under the Constitution, a money bill needs to be passed only in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha cannot stall it.

Also Read: For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

However, after April, the NDA will be in a far better position.

Of the 100 BJP-allies MPs, 24 are retiring. Which means, the government will be left with 76 MPs (including AIADMK). But at least 30 from the NDA are set to get re-elected. So the number will rise to 106. Add three members that the government would nominate to the upper house and the final NDA tally will roughly be 109 MPs.

Further, there are fence-sitters such as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the YSR Congress, which are not virulently against the BJP and would not oppose the government unless for very compelling reasons.

Now, for the Congress and the rest of the opposition, they are set to lose 30 MPs (including one Independent, A.V. Swamy) through retirement and would be left with around 93 members. The Opposition may win roughly 22 seats, which means that its final tally after April is likely to be around 115 members.

Government can now expect some smooth sailing in the Rajya Sabha, coming this April.
Government can now expect some smooth sailing in the Rajya Sabha, coming this April.

The gap has clearly narrowed and the government may not be at the mercy of the opposition during crucial votes and can have its way in the Rajya Sabha if it musters its numbers by deftly wooing “floater” MPs.

The three newly-elected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members may remain equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress, though the party is friendly with some of the major opposition parties like the Trinamool Congress.

Also Read: BJP MP Seeks Amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill

In an interesting development recently, the AAP actively participated in the opposition’s walkout and the day-long boycott of the Rajya Sabha over long intra-day adjournments of the Upper House by Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

The AAP, which was not welcome at any opposition meetings earlier, particularly those held in Parliament House, was invited to speak at a joint opposition media interaction on the day. But nobody can be sure as to how long this bonding would last.

Partywise tally of those retiring in April-May from the opposition’s side include 13 from the Congress, six from the Samajwadi Party, three of the Trinamool Congress, two each of the Nationalist Congress Party and Biju Janata Dal and one each of the CPI-M, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.

NDA has to face many embarrassments in past few years in Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia Commons
NDA has to face many embarrassments in past few years in Rajya Sabha. Wikimedia Commons

From the ruling side, 17 MPs of the BJP, three of the Janata Dal United, one of the Shiv Sena and two of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are retiring.

In terms of state-wise vacancies to be created in April, the highest number is from Uttar Prdaesh (9), followed by Maharashtra (6), Madhya Pradesh (5), Bihar (5), Gujarat (4), Karnataka (4), West Bengal (4), Rajasthan (3), Odisha (3), Andhra Pradesh (3), Telangana (2), Uttarakhand (1), Himachal Pradesh (1) and Chhattisgarh (1). IANS