NEW DELHI: Three key affiliates of the Sangh with considerable mass base in their respective spheres — the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram — on Monday opposed some of the key amendments in the NDA’s Land Acquisition Bill, including removal of the consent clause, social impact survey as also land acquisition for industrial corridors and private enterprise.
Making their presentation before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) — which has been set up to look into the Land Bill, vehemently opposed by most of the non-NDA parties — the BKS, BMS and Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Ashram, the tribal body of the Sangh, said that the above-mentioned provisions should be restored to the bill when it is taken up in the next Parliament session.
In the ordinance that was re-promulgated after the second half of the Session got over, certain provisions of the 2013 Land Bill were removed, including the consent clause, social impact survey, scaling up acquisition of land for industrial corridor as also the retrospective benefit. The Sangh affiliate bodies on Monday called for restoration of all these clauses.
Putting it in black-and-white, BKS, in its written submission before the JPC, stated that the farmers’ interests have been ignored by doing away with the provisions of social impact assessment and clause relating to returning of unutilised land.
BKS general secretary Prabhkara Kelkar told the JPC that at least 51 per cent of farmers have to give their consent before a piece of land can be acquired for any project. It was after BKS and BMS strongly opposed certain provisions of the bill/ordinance that Sangh asked the government to create a platform for dialogue to resolve the issue, sources in the know told Express.
The two Sangh bodies also raised objections to the provision of land acquisition — 10 km on each side for industrial corridor and private enterprise. Both asked for clarification from the panel on what entailed ‘private’ enterprise or entity.
AAP oustee and now Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav, who also deposed before the panel on Monday, said that “the RSS affiliates are also opposing the bill — the language of the bill itself makes it evident that land will be acquired for the industrialists. If the 2013 Land Bill had to be amended, it should be done for betterment of the farmers and not the opposite,’’ he added.
In another written submission, the Rajya Sampark Pramukh of VHP, Chhattisgarh, Santosh Golechha, expressed serious doubts about the government’s move to amendment 24 (2) of the Land Act — the retrospective aspect of the bill by which farmers could get market price, as of January 2013, for land acquired in all pending cases.