A significant feature of the land reforms programme of the Digvijay Singh government was that it was undertaken in partnership with a civil society organization, the Ekta Parishad. 1 A Joint Task Force (JTF) consisting of members from the state government and the Parishad was constituted in 2000 as a central mechanism to provide overall guidance in the formulation of a comprehensive land reform policy for the state and its proper implementation at the local level. The EP, which describes itself as a social movement and a Gandhian organization, has its roots in a group of activists working in the Chambal who came into contact with the dalits and tribals of this region. Formed in the mid-1980s, the organization took up various issues such as unemployment, bonded labour, low wages and exploitation by government officials. Based on their experience at the grassroots, by the early 1990s the leaders of the Parishad were convinced that provision of land alone could provide a livelihood to dalits and tribals and a solution to rural poverty. Since then the organization has been leading numerous movements against governments in MP demanding land reform in the state. Beginning in 1993 when the Congress government came to power, the EP began to put pressure upon Chief Minister Digvijay Singh to adopt a policy of land distribution leading to the formation of the JTF for this purpose.