Congress slams Centre for ‘steamrolling’ land bill
There have been no massacres of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs or Dalits since Narendra Modi took office.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Opposition of spreading lies on the land bill and asserted that he would safeguard farmers’ interests, the Congress Saturday asked why then was the government “steamrolling” the “anti-farmer” bill. It further said the BJP’s two-day national executive saw the party and the PM resorting to rhetoric once again.
“Will the government agree upon retaining the social impact assessment and consent clauses of the 2013 land act — provisions that form the soul of the Act? Why isn’t the government coming out with a Land Use Policy and a Land Management Authority to deal with the land acquisition issue, as promised in their manifesto? What is the hurry? Is it the pressure from some lobby with vested interest?” Congress’s communication department head Randeep Surjewala asked.
Party’s general secretary Digvijaya Singh asked: “UPA had waived loans of farmers worth Rs 72,000 crore. Can Modi show similar courage?”
Surjewala added that instead of answering “concrete questions that stare him and the nation in the face, the PM chose to gloss over his government’s embarrassing U-turns on various issues by making high sounding but dodgy pronouncements like ‘antodaya hamara sankalp, panchamrit, chaturangi kranti’ besides digital India, skill development and Make in India”.
The Congress further asked: “Does Antodaya entail grabbing land from poor hapless and marginal farmers without their consent and give it away to industrialist friends who funded his campaign? Does it mean cutting government spending in social sector schemes?”
The Opposition also accused the Centre of not providing adequate compensation to farmers who suffered crop loss due to unseasonal rain. Stating that the compensation rate has been fixed at Rs 200 per acre, Surjewala said the Centre is merely asking the states to pay compensation from State Disaster Response Funds and Contingency Funds at their disposal.
“To add insult to injury, an inter-ministerial group, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and comprising Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have summarily rejected the demand of farming community and landless labourers…to enhance wheat allocation to the affected families under the PDS in areas where crops have seen extensive damage,” he said.
Source:: Indian Express