Expressing concerns over the land acquisition process for an airport in Ayodhya, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday demanded that circle rates for the land in the area must be increased and the farmers from whom the land would be acquired for the project must get six times the circle rates.
“The circle rates must be increased… When farmers see the market price for their land, they realise that their land is worth more. They should be given six times the circle rates… What is the problem with giving six times the circle rate when the government says they have a huge budget (for the airport project)?”Akhilesh said at a press conference in Lucknow where he was joined by several farmers from the villages in Ayodhya.
“The farmers are here. I assure them that we will extend every possible help to you… The farmers are saying they don’t want to get in the way of development, but want to put their issues in front of the government… You have come to the party office today. I would want to remind the government that at a time there was discussion about compensation rates for land, the SP had taken land from farmers for the Agra Expressway… I had called representatives from there (the villages which were being affected by land acquisition) and asked them about their demands… We fulfilled all their demands and compensated them fairly,” the former chief minister added.
“The Gods are for all of us — these farmers, me and everyone. We don’t want to come in the way of development. As far as officers are concerned, I also worked with them. They used to bow down before they farmers when they went to meet them (in my government),” he added.
Former SP MLA from Ayodhya Pawan Pandey said the farmers were struggling because the current BJP government was giving compensating them less than the market rates for the land being acquired for the airport and other development works in the district.
“The farmers are threatened with fake cases by police and administration if they question the land rates being offered by the government. Some farmers have been kept at police stations for hours and are being harassed. The women are also being pressured. The officials are saying that it is being done on the orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and that if they don’t give their land, their entire family will be sent to jail,” Pandey, who was a minister in the Akhilesh government, alleged.
He claimed that they spoke with farmers from 20 villages and discussed their problems.
Three farmers from Dharampur, Kutiya and Gaja villages of Ayodhya also spoke at the press conference and shared their issues with the land acquisition process.
Newly elected SP MLA from Malhani in Jaunpur district, Lucky Yadav, was also present at the press conference. Akhilesh thanked voters and party workers for ensuring victory in one seat in the bypolls.
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