Opposition parties in Jharkhand on Tuesday threatened to launch an agitation, if the state government brings any amendment to the decades-old
Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Paragana Tenancy Act.
The state government did not speak to the opposition parties on this issue but decided to amend the Acts to benefit a select group of industrialists overlooking the interest of the tribals, Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said in the press conference in Jamshedpur.
He was accompanied by district and state-level leaders of CPI(M), CPI, RJD, JVM and JD(U). JMM’s East Singhbhum district chief Ramdas Soren was scheduled to join the meet but he did not turn up for the press conference. However, Kumar downplayed it saying JPCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat and JMM working president and former chief minister Hemant Soren are holding a meeting today at Ranchi over the same issue.
On the government’s move to bring amendments to the acts that was formed to protect the interest of tribal community, Kumar alleged that thousands of tribal families were displaced from their own land even when the Act was in force. The impact of the amendments on the tribals would be much bigger.
Referring to the state government’s decision to acquire agricultural land in Barkagaon in Hazaribagh district for NTPC project despite farmers’ opposition, the Congress leader alleged farmers are being implicated in false cases by the government for opposing the move.
If the Ragubar Das government is really serious for industrial development, it should set up agro/forest based industries such as food processing units and cold storage, he said.
Alleging that the state government wants to acquire farm land to benefit a “select group of industrialists”, Kumar alleged whenever BJP came to power, it had adopted oppressive approach towards farmers, dalits and tribals.
The opposition parties are of the opinion that the amendments to the acts would jeopardise the tribal’s rights to their lands.
However, the state government has said it would help in buying land for schools, colleges, bridges by providing four times the cost of the land and it is in the interest of the tribals and development of the state.