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Cong takes to the streets against changes to land Act

Jairam junks PM’s pro-farmer claim, draws parallel to British rule.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | Parsaul |
Updated: March 14, 2015 1:20:22 am
Jairam Ramesh Former Union minister Jairam Ramesh leads Congress’s march against the land acquisition bill from Bhatta-Parsaul on Friday. (Source: Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Drawing a parallel to the East India Company and the archaic land acquisition Act brought by the British, senior congress leader Jairam Ramesh attacking the BJP raised the slogan — “Company Sarkaar ke khilaaf ab Dilli chalo”, as he flagged off a three-day march from the symbolic Bhatta-Parsaul village to protest proposed amendments to the land law passed by the previous UPA government.

Launching a scathing attack on the NDA government, Ramesh, while addressing over 500 farmers, said: “When India was enslaved by the British, they forcefully passed a law in 1894 to exploit the farmers. In 2014, this government has again re-opened doors of this law. Is Company Sarkaar ke khilaaf ab Dilli chalo.”

Four years after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had launched an agitation against forcible land acquisition in Bhatta-Parsaul, Congress began its three-day protest march from Parsaul to Rajghat. The party has planned a gherao of Parliament on March 17.

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When asked why Rahul was missing during the protest and that if he would join the protest in Delhi, Ramesh replied, “Today is just March 13, it is not March 16. Today, just the padyatra begins.”

Addressing the farmers, the senior Congress leader also rubbished Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the amended Act would benefit the farmers. “The PM cannot run away from the facts. The amended bill has been passed in Lok Sabha and that is the reality. We had introduced the social impact assessment, so that land acquired cannot be misused for private purposes. But now this is not there. We had fixed a cap of five years, that if any land is not utilised by the government, it shall be returned to the farmer, but now there is no cap on this. This is the fact and the PM cannot hide from this. Is this pro-farmer?,” Ramesh asked.

Attacking the PM over his “Rs 10 lakh suit”, Ramesh questioned why his government slashed the allocation to Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana by 50 per cent. “This is a government where the PM wears suit worth Rs 10 lakh and its auctioned for Rs four crore. But the same government cut the budgetary allocation to the all important RKVY by 50 per cent. Is this the welfare of the farmers?”

The protest march would reach Dankaur village on the second day and finally on the third day, it would reach Rajghat. On March 17, Youth Congress and members of farming community would gherao Parliament on March 17.

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First published on: 14-03-2015 at 01:20:14 am

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