All is not well between Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Power Minister Captain Ajay Singh Yadav. For the third consecutive time,land acquisition issues the latest being Rewari seems to have led to a subtle confrontation between Hooda and his minister.
Earlier as well,acquisition of land in Rewari Yadavs home district for industrial purposes and in Dharuhera had led to friction between the two. On all three occasions,Yadav had opposed acquisition but to no avail.
The clash in Rewari between farmers and police on July 22 occurred within days of Yadav raising his voice at the last cabinet meeting demanding more compensation for land.
Though over 10 Rewari villages had already given up land for acquisition,the government is in the process of acquiring land in 16 more villages for industrial purposes. Angry over forced acquisition,farmers had resorted to arson and torched a police station and burnt vehicles on July 22. They also held policemen hostage. The subsequent clash between the police and farmers left many injured.
Despite his suggestions regarding land acquisition,Yadav was not invited for Wednesdays meeting between Hooda and the farmers in New Delhi to break the deadlock. It is a welcome step that the state has come forward to sort out the problem,but I did not get any invite for the meeting. I hope that the needful was done and from now on,the state will not acquire any fertile land for industrial purposes,especially in my area, Yadav told The Indian Express.
This is the third time that such a problem has occurred in my area and I am very perturbed. As I had said earlier,the state should avoid acquiring fertile land as farmers earn their livelihood from it, he said,adding that he will take up the matter with Hooda to avoid a clash on this issue.
While saying that he had proposed that the state should get prior consent of farmers before it initiated acquisition process,Yadav added: I had proposed that the acquisition process should start after 80 per cent of the affected farmers give their consent or the state should go for a different alternative. When asked if he was the only one who had raised his voice,Yadav said: Perhaps,I am the only one affected by it.
According to sources,the government has no other option but to acquire land in Rewari,as Gurgaon has reached its saturation point. Moreover,huge chunks of land had already been acquired for the KMP Expressway and Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Faridabad and Sonepat. Many applications are lying with the industries department for allotment of land. This area (Rewari) does not have much fertile land because of scarcity of water,so we went ahead with acquisition, said a senior officer.