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Why the opposition to amendments in Land Acquisition Act 2013 is anti-farmer and anti-national
Narendra Modi is perhaps facing a stiff challenge on its LARR Amendment bill to ratify the ordinance his government promulgated. The Congress-led opposition including its allies like Shiv Sena are also opposing the amendments.

Interestingly the clauses being amended was in fact inserted in Land Acquisition Act 2013 after BJP's pressure. Then select committee chief Sumitra Mahajan and members like Murali Manohar Joshi asked UPA government to ensure Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and 80 per cent consent for government project and 70 per cent for PPP project. Question naturally arises, now why PM Narendra Modi brought the ordinance to do away with these clauses.

In a Chief Minister's meeting, majority of the CMs clearly objected to these provisions. The Chief Ministers included former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chawan and the Kerala CM Oommen Chandy of the Congress. They said that with such provisions land can't be acquire at all. Because of non-acquisition, investments worth one lakh crore rupees were held up, which are very key to economic growth.

The revised bill in fact brings other thirteen laws that were not under the purview of Land Act 2013, where acquisition was compulsory without paying compensation. This made farmers eligible to get compensation when his land is acquired for defense and other projects of national importance. Also the amendment says that the respective state government has the liberty to impose the condition of consent and SIA.

This is really needed at the moment and not against farmers. But the politics is on. The Congress duplicity is proved as their chief ministers opposed.

Anna Hazare is a good man. He was provoked for the agitation, which many farmer union leaders says is sponsored by NGOs. What more. Anna's agitation is no more apolitical. Its stage was shared by Arvind Kejriwal, Viko, Atul Anjan. Thus Anna provided a political platform for all Narendra Modi bashers. Welcome Mr. Anna to politics.

If one really wants to know merits of this land bill, one can search the internet and will find many articles justifying the amendments logically and practically. Thus I am not arguing each amendment. I have just two points on this amendment.

Making mandatory for the Social Impact Assessment, aren't we creating another huge bureaucratic circle that would use its muscle in every project? If elected representatives agree on a project how come this SIA becomes wiser than the leaders? All projects would be delayed for bureaucratic procedures and the ways for corrupt practice would open.

This will make investors to lose trust and compel them to distance away from India as investment destination. If there would be no investor how do the projects be executed. If projects are not executed how there would be growth? UPA government's last two years were a complete paralysis because no investor wanted to invest?

Second is the consent clause. Making 70 per cent or 80 per cent consent is somehow going against the democratic norm. For example if for a project 69 per cent people gave consent still the project can't be made. Majority people's wish for development can be denied by 31% minority. This will definitely create discomfort among majority people and may lead to clash if there were provocations.

Second, if this consent clause is kept then it would lead to another situation of emerging ruthless brokers. The brokers would start purchasing the land. Because they have got financial clout and muscle power, they would be able to buy 70 or 80 per cent land using wrong methods including intimidations of various types. They will pay very less amount to the farmers and sell to big investors at a high cost. In the real estate this is happening and none has able to stop it.

Thus those who are opposing the land bill are really playing dangerously and doing harm not only to farmer's interest but also to nation's interest.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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arvind kejriwal
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