Terming as fascist the NDA government’s move to take ordinance route to effect changes in the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said the government should take people into confidence and clear their doubts over important issues.
“After coming to power in May 2014, the Modi government, without putting in use the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, started talking about bringing in amendments into it and twice made use of ordinances to pave the way for acquiring land forcibly,” Ramesh said while delivering a lecture in Indore on Saturday night.
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“The NDA government brought amendments in haste in the important Land Acquisition Act of 2013 through ordinance. This fascist move is a cause of concern for democracy. We are a democratic society, hence the government should talk to people to clear their doubts and solve the problems after taking them into confidence,” the former Union Minister said.
The UPA, too, had the option to bring about amendments in the Land Acquisition Act of the British Raj through ordinance, he said adding, “But we held discussion over it with the then opposition party BJP and after its consent, got it passed as law in the Parliament.”
If the ruling party feels that the majority (win) has mandated them the authority to do anything, this approach is a cause of concern for democracy. The outcome of the amendments in the Land Acquisition Bill need a serious thought, he said.
The Congress leader alleged that with the amendment in the Act, the Modi government has cleared the way for forcible land acquisition, as seeking the consent for 80 per cent farmers for acquiring their immovable property has been struck out of it.
“Besides, a provision for social impact assessment has also been removed from it. This will result into government acquiring land for public works and handing it over to private companies of its choice. Besides, it can acquire more land than it needs as per the amendments,” Ramesh said.
The government by amendments is trying to tamper with the main theme of the Act, which has created a furore in the country and the people have come to know that gross injustice is being done with the farmers, he alleged.