A delegation of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Friday submitted a memorandum to the state governor O P Kohli, requesting him not to give his approval to the Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceiling (Amendment) Bill of 2015, as it is against the interest of the poor and backward class people of the state and intended to favour the rich and the industrialists.
The memorandum running into four pages giving the background of the law first enacted in 1960 and amended now, said that while the old law was intended to take the surplus land from big landlords and allot it to cattle breeder, landless persons, farm labourers and farmers with small land holdings, the amended law intended to transfer the land to the urban bodies first and then sell it out to industrilaists and builders.
“The mentality of the government in 1960 was to protect the interest of weak and backward classes of the society, but the mentality of the present government is to make industrialists and rich further rich”, the memorandum said.
It further added that “Under the amended act, it will not be mandatory for the government to allot the land acquired from big farmers under the land ceiling act to landless people, but it can be allotted to big industrialists and rich people to enhance industrial facilities in the name of development. Thus the land acquired through the act made for abolition of ‘zamindari’ system, will now be used to create new industrial and builder landlords”.
The delegation comprised of state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki, leader of opposition in the state assembly Shankersinh Vaghela, former state party presidents Arjun Modhwadia and Siddharth Patel, and former opposition leader and sitting MLA Shaktisinh Gohil.