HYDERABAD: Land acquisition bill is for ensuring the development of rural areas and it will not put the interest of farmers in jeopardy, Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu assured on Thursday.
Speaking at a meeting with farmers here, he accused the Congress of unnecessarily raising a hue and cry and misleading the public on the land bill. “All provisions are included in the bill for the protection of farmers and it has also been made mandatory for giving a job for a person in the family from whom land is acquired. By opposing the Land Acquisition Bill, Congress leaders are obstructing development,” Venkaiah alleged.
Besides finding fault with Congress leaders like Jairam Ramesh, he also made sarcastic comments on environment and rights activists like Medha Patkar. “Narendra Modi is a farmer-friendly PM and is highly concerned about farmers’ interests. Increasing compensation for crop damage and ex gratia to families of farmers who committed suicide, proves the BJP government’s commitment towards farmers,” pointed out Naidu.
He interacted with farmers from different parts of Telangana and sought their suggestions for improving their lot. Farmers came up with suggestions like linking of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act with agriculture, taking farmer as a unit in case of insurance and encouraging millets, among others.
Telangana BJP president Kishan Reddy urged the farmers to be united and work as a pressure group for safeguarding their interests. Kishan Reddy also said that the Union government has been taking steps to revive the Ramagundam Fertiliser Plant to address the problem of urea shortage.
“Ramagundam fertiliser plant is being taken up with an investment of `500 crore and it will get operational by 2017. If it becomes operational, urea problem in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will be solved,” said Kishan Reddy.
BJP floor leader in the Assembly K Lakshman and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh Telangana president P Anji Reddy, among others were present on the occasion.