View from the left: Land Lieshttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/view-from-the-left-land-lies/

View from the left: Land Lies

Do these changes being made by the Modi government not suggest that PM Modi is bringing them to benefit both the foreign and domestic corporates

Compiled by Ruhi Tewari

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading a “disinformation campaign” about the changes his government wants to bring to the 2013 Land Acquisition Act, the CPM’s People’s Democracy says there is widespread disbelief about such a brazen campaign. “In his, by now ‘compulsory’ address on the state-owned radio, mann ki baat, on March 22, he ranted that the objections raised by the combined opposition in Parliament was a pack of ‘lies’ and a part of a ‘conspiracy’ to undermine farmer’s interests… Let’s examine the PM’s charge that the current opposition’s objections to the ordinance promulgated by his government are a pack of ‘lies’ and restate the CPM’s position… Is it a lie to say that the BJP had fully supported the 2013 Land Acquisition Act? If true, then why these changes now? Do these changes being made by the Modi government not suggest that PM Modi is bringing them to benefit both the foreign and domestic corporates at the expense of the already beleaguered Indian farmer?” asks the editorial.

It alleges that the NDA is diluting some key provisions of the 2013 act, including the consent and social impact assessment requirements: “Is it not a fact that the protection given under the 2013 law for agricultural labour and all others whose livelihood depended on cultivation on the land has been diluted? Is it a lie, Mr Prime Minister, that instead some provision for employment has been provided only for agricultural labour and not to a wide range of landless people whose livelihood is adversely affected by such land acquisition?”
“Popular struggles must be strengthened to bolster the parliamentary opposition to prevent such a retrograde law that ruins our kisans and, hence, Indian agriculture from being enacted,” the editorial concludes.

PARTY CONGRESS
The CPI’s New Age talks about the party’s recent 22nd Party Congress: “It was a note of optimism, confidence and acceptance of challenge that was writ large on the faces of one and all — from the communist veteran and former CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy down to the youngest delegate — in and around the venue of the XXII Party Congress…”

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“…the party general secretary read out his speech marking the formal inauguration of the deliberations of the Congress. He appealed to the Congress to pledge to unleash struggles on mass issues, class issues and restore the image of the party as the leader and militant champion of the downtrodden, exploited sections of the society so that the future will be ours,” the journal adds.

“Here in India, the last year’s elections brought [the] rabid communal pro-corporate BJP to power, due to the anger of the people against the anti-people’s misrule of UPA 2 under the leadership of [the] Congress party and exposure of huge political corruption, resulting in loss of lakhs of rupees to the nation… Admitting that the Left has become weak in the last elections, he [the general secretary] underlined that though it disappointed the people to some extent, the Left is not demoralised. The rightist takeover has given a new challenge and opportunity to the Left to expose their gameplan and mobilise the people to fight them… It is a difficult task but only the Left can do it,” it states.