Congress Asks Governor Not to Sign Gujarat Land Bill

Congress requested O P Kohli not to give assent to a bill of the state govt which amends Central Land Acquisition Act of 2013.

Published: 06th April 2016 04:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2016 04:07 AM   |  A+A-

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: Opposition Congress in Gujarat today requested the Governor O P Kohli not to give his assent to a bill of the state government which amends the Central Land Acquisition Act of 2013, alleging that it was against the interests of farmers and land owners.

A delegation of Congress MLAs today met Kohli to express opposition to "Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2016", passed in the Assembly in the absence of Congress MLAs on March 31.

The delegation led by senior Congress MLA Shanktisinh Gohil handed over a memorandum to the Governor, claiming that the amendments were against the Supreme Court's order and against the true spirit of Act passed during UPA rule in 2013.

The memo refers to a controversial clause, whereby the BJP government has proposed to bypass the requirement of Social Impact Assessment for land acquisition for certain social sector projects and industrial corridors.

The bill also does away with need of consent of 80 per cent land owners for certain social sector projects.

"SIA study is a key provision of the original act...this government wants to take away the land of poor farmers and land owners without carrying out such studies. Further, there won't be any food security to the land loser," said the memorandum.

The UPA act was as per the directions of the Supreme Court, Congress claimed.

The opposition party has also objected to another provision whereby the Collector has got wide powers and farmers lose the right to seek an inquiry.

As the bill amends a Central act, it falls into the 'concurrent list', where the assent of the President is also necessary.

Terming the bill as "black legislation", Gohil told reporters that Congress will also meet the President if needed and move the High Court or the apex court against it.

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