Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) today lamented that BJP Continues to Mislead Farmers and their Supporters in Various Parties on Land Acquisition Bill 2015
Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara,Geetha Ramakrishnan and others acused that all this proves that the strong opposition to the Ordinance and the Bill 2015 by many an opposition parties and some of the NDA partners like Shiv Sena and LJD, is fully justifiable. They appreciated them for taking a position in favor of the farming community in the country at this crucial juncture. Consideration including food security and no rehabilitation is possible without guaranteeing alternative livelihood (missing in the 2013 Act itself) has now led all those who support our food growers and toiling masses including small traders, artisans, to challenge the anti-people move, the Bill, 2013 which will lead to more suicides and make millions landless laborers.
They instead demanded further pro-people amendments as recommended by the two Parliamentary Standing Committees in the 2013 Act to save farmers' lives and livelihoods of millions. According to them, forcible land acquisition has always been an issue of life and death for millions of people in India, not only farmers but also agricultural laborers and fish workers.
NAPM wondered that the BJP leaders are now making false interpretations and unjustifiable arguments to accusing the people's movements and pro people politicians and parties as indicated from the press conference held by Nitin Gadkari and statement by Arun Jaitley, the finance minister before the parliament, both of them the architects of the Ordinance and now the Bill. Without entering into dialogue with the agitating farmers' organizations except members of their own 'Parivar', they are deliberately confusing the issues and presenting the struggle as a war between Bharat and Pakistan, drawing a false threat to India's security.
"If the SIA process is carried out and consent is sought, taking some time for the same, Pakistan will come to know about the project and can sabotage it," said Mr. Jaitley. This is a statement, an indicator of the frustration and fury among the ruling party led by the Prime Minister that wishes to save the Bill by misbriefing the people. How can seeking consent for a project developed by a private corporation, since government is allowing PPP and FDI in Defence as well, be threat to the national security but the private corporations involvement is not. Does that make any sense ? , they asked.
They pointed out that the people's movements, instrumental in getting the former UPA government to abolish the British Act of 1894 and to bring in the 2013 Act condemn this fake, communal appeal to disrespect the farmers and deny them the right to be partners in development. SIA and consent will not stop the projects but rather resolve the conflicts due to imposition of projects without rehabilitation.
They said that the private and PPP projects have been grabbing land through forcible acquisition standing on the shoulders of the State. The SEZ of Ambani was to get 35000 hectares in Maharashtra, and DMIC is targeting 3,90,000 hectares. While the thousands of hectares of Sardar Sarovar command area land in Gujarat is diverted to companies, along with waters, Industrial Corridors to mining, tourism, water and power projects profiting companies are now proposed to be granted land that can be forcibly acquired from farmers. The 1894 British Act too was not permitted to be used for this, and no other country in the world has any such legal and legitimate way to forcibly transfer the farmers', fishworkers', and common peoples' resources.
Mr. Gadkari is claiming the credit for including 13 acts under the purview of the 2013 Act but this is done after killing the spirit and main provisions in the Act.
Mr. Gadkari and BJP spokespersons have also resorted to a farcical justification for the ordinance, referring to 31.12.2014 as the deadline, for including the acts.
The fact is that Section 105 allowed 1 year to bring in these 13 acts so as to allow amendments in those and make land acquisition procedures and provisions therein, consistent with the new Act. Section 105 also elaborates the procedure of placing any amendment, notification before the parliament for 30 days, seeking approval. Instead of doing the same, the BJP government waited till the last day to include the Acts, only after excluding the main pro-people provisions, they added.