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No consensus,we don’t agree on land Bill provisions: Left parties

A day after the central government claimed to have worked out a broad consensus on the Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Bill,the Left parties Friday said they were still not in agreement with some of the “basic provisions” of the Bill and reiterated their demand that the Bill be sent to the Standing Committee again or forwarded to a joint select committee.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 20, 2013 2:16:11 am

A day after the central government claimed to have worked out a broad consensus on the Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Bill,the Left parties Friday said they were still not in agreement with some of the “basic provisions” of the Bill and reiterated their demand that the Bill be sent to the Standing Committee again or forwarded to a joint select committee.

“It is wrong on the part of the government to claim that there is a consensus on the Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation & Re-settlement Bill. The Left parties are not in agreement with some basic provisions of the land acquisition Bill,” the four Left parties said in a joint statement after a meeting here.

The Left leaders pointed out that one of the “major flaws” in the Bill was that it exempts 13 laws from the purview of the Bill.

“These include the Indian Railways Act,National Highways Act,Land Acquisition Mines Act,Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition & Development Act etc,under which the bulk of the land acquisition takes place,” they said.

Besides,the Left reiterated its opposition to the definition of “public purpose”,which also includes acquisition of land for private companies. “There is no need for consent of those affected if land is acquired for government purposes: all the people affected like tenants,agricultural workers are not entitled to compensation; some of the provisions of the Bill are against the interests of the adivasis,” the Left said,listing out the “objectionable” provisions in the Bill.

“Since the Bill presented now has been totally changed from that which was considered by the Standing Committee,it should be referred back to the Standing Committee or be taken up by a Joint Select Committee,” the Left leaders said after the meeting.

The meeting,which was attended among others by Prakash Karat,Sitaram Yechury,A B Bardhan,S Sudhakar Reddy,D Raja and G Devarajan,also slammed the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal over the “custodial death” of SFI leader Sudipta Gupa.

Referring to the heckling of West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra outside Planning Commission by protesting CPM workers,the Left leaders said the Trinamool Congress is using the “unfortunate incident” as a pretext and has unleashed systematic and widespread attacks on the offices of the Left parties and their cadres and activists.

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