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Why is NDA government in such hurry for land acquisition Act?, wonders apex body of people's movements

By Our Representative
A joint statement issued by various people’s groups led by the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), in close coordination with the Left parties’ farmers’ and landless labourers’ bodies has said that the changes introduced in the controversial Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement 2013 (Second Amendment Bill, 2015) are “unacceptable”.
Pointing out that these changes have been introduced through extra-constitutional means, the coordination committee of NAPM and Left leaders, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, has said that it is difficult to understand why the Government of India is in a hurry and is trying to amend “a very hard-earned law of the country.”
Releasing the statement at a press conference, called by the coordination committee of the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, the statement said, it was difficult to understand why it is showing such a hurry when the land acquisition bill is lying with the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for review.
The statement said, the very fact that the “time it has given to the Joint Parliamentary Committee for taking in suggestions from the people” up to June 8, 2015 is very short, suggests what the NDA government wants.
“The Bhumi Adhikar Andolan had asked the JPC to increase the deadline for receiving submissions, but the JPC has rejected the demand. The JPC doesn’t even have enough time to hold wider public consultations and hearings to receive real inputs from people of the country”, the statement underlined.
“A law that took 66 years after Independence to come out of its colonial framework is today going back to its exploitative form in just months. In another undemocratic move, the NDA cabinet again recommended the Land Amendment Bill to Parliament without even waiting for the inputs of the JPC”, the statement alleged.
Condemning the “deplorable attitude of the government with which it is dealing with such an important Act and is threatening the livelihood of a majority of Indian citizens”, the statement wonders, “Today, economists and media are harping on the fact that share of agriculture in GDP is very low. But how can that be possible when 60% of India’s labour is occupied in agriculture and when each and every industry is dependent on agriculture as its source of raw material?”
“Such false notions must be countered by a comprehensive research on the status of agriculture in India and cannot be used just as an excuse to take away land from small and marginal farmers for the benefit of real estate lobby and industrialists”, the statement said.
Those who addressed the press conference included Bhupinder Singh Rawat (NAPM), Hannan Mollah (All India Kisan Sabha, Canning Lane), Roma (All India Union of Forest Working People), Jarjum Ete (All India Union of Forest Working People) and Satyavan (All India Krishak Khet Mazdoor Sangathan).
The Congress leaders, who originally formed part of the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, were conspicuous by their absence.

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