VIJAYAWADA: In what is being seen as a direct consequence of Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan’s whirlwind tour of capital region on Thursday, farmers cornered officials at the CRDA office in Nowluru demanding that their consent letters for land-pooling be returned to them immediately.
Another factor that prompted them to ask for return of their consent letters was that the government could not do anything about those who had refused to part with their lands.
A farmer Pagadala Srinivasa Rao said: “We feel strong after the visit of Pawan Kalyan to our village. We went to the Nowluru CRDA office and sought the return of 9.3 forms (consent letters). They were taken from us under duress.”
The officials, who were not expecting a volte face from farmers, were initially taken aback but later pulled themselves together and told them that they had no powers to return the consent letters. This led to an argument between farmers an the officials and the farmers, in a fit of rage, staged a dharna raising slogans against the officials for robbing them of their livelihood.
The officials told them to approach either the special commissioner CRDA or Guntur collector since they were the competent persons to take a decision on the return of consent letters.
Farmers of Undavalli, Penumaka of Tadepalli mandal, Nidamarru, Yerrubalem and Bethadpui of Mangalagiri mandal, who held ground despite mounting pressure from the government, finally yielded and gave consent letters in the last week of February.
Now, they say that they had given land fearing that the government might invoke the Land Acquisition Act in which case they would become losers.
They said a situation had been created where they were given to understand that they would not only lose lands but also compensation if they allowed the government to use the Land Acquisition Act.