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BJP steers clear on who should acquire land

After the farmer unrest in Bhatta-Parsual,the BJP had aggressively demanded passage of the Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill in Parliament

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
June 4, 2011 1:00:09 am

After the farmer unrest in Bhatta-Parsual,the BJP had aggressively demanded passage of the Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill in Parliament. Now days after the National Advisory Council (NAC) came out with its draft proposal,the main Opposition party on Friday focussed on rehabilitation,but was silent on the key question of who should acquire the land.

The NAC had proposed that private companies should not be allowed to buy land directly,putting the onus of acquisition squarely on the government. The policy announced by the Mayawati government,on the other hand,restricts government’s role in land acquisitions to that of a facilitator. The UP policy says land has to be acquired by developers directly from farmers at market rates.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari spoke about land acquisition at the party’s national executive here,pointing out that the issue requires a holistic approach and noted that rehabilitation of landowners has to be an integral part of the land development policy.

His suggestions include acquisition of farmland for development projects at “above the prevailing market prices”,“provision for annuity or equity to the landowners”,employment to at least one member of the affected family in the development project and return of adequate share of developed land to the land owners. Gadkari,however,did not touch upon the key question of who should acquire the land.

Gadkari also came down heavily on the NAC saying it has no constitutional sanction and is not accountable to Parliament.

The party had raised strong objections to the draft of the Communal Violence Bill prepared by the Sonia Gandhi-led NAC. Gadkari touched upon that aspect too and said the basic premise of the draft was that it equates communalism and communal violence with the majority community. “This approach is blatantly and incontrovertibly anti-Hindu,” he said.

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