Opposition builds up Left & Right to Land Bill

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The Hindu Business Line, June 23, 2015

RSS-affiliated farmers? organisations and trade unions as well as farmers? outfits supported by Left parties have found common ground in the proposed amendments to the Land Acquisition Act.

The organisations appeared before the Joint Parliamentary panel on the Bill on Monday and Tuesday, opposing the amendments and warning the government of serious repercussions if it proceeds with the amendments. Sources in the panel told BusinessLine that except industry chambers such as the CII, FICCI and Assocham, most of those who had deposed objected to the amendments tooth and nail.

?We have got more than 800 representations; 36 organisations were allowed to depose before the panel. Most of them, other than four or five organisations, mostly representatives of industries, opposed the present Bill,? a panel member told BusinessLine.

Another member said the responses from the farmers? bodies were very serious. ?We fear going ahead with this law will create an anarchic situation,? he added.

RSS affiliates Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Kisan Sangh and Vanvasi Samaj appeared before the panel on Monday.

Govindacharya for UPA law

Former BJP general secretary and RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya said he favours the 2013 legislation more than the Modi government?s law on the issue.

He questioned the Centre?s haste and wondered why so many Ordinances were being brought when farmers are protesting against the law.

?Now this message has gone far and wide that the earlier law is being changed to promote the interests of industrialists and capitalists in place of the interests of the common man and farmers,? he told the panel.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah also slammed the Bill.

?The Amendments brought by the BJP-led NDA Government through the Ordinance route systematically withdraw each one of these minimal safeguards. They are a step backwards and reinstate the anti-peasant framework of the Colonial Land Acquisition Act of 1894.

?Unfortunately the government has sought to ignore the massive protests against the proposed Amendments and repeatedly promulgated Ordinances to push through their position,? he said in the submission, adding that even the 2013 law had several lacunae.

He also questioned the government?s intention to remove industrial corridors from the ambit of the law and said it will take away land from a good number of farmers in the heartland.

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