New Delhi | Accusing the Narendra Modi government of working overtime to help corporates, CPI today organised protests across the country demanding immediate withdrawal of the anti-farmer Land Acquisition Bill. Demonstrations were held in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Raipur and parts of Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra demanding that the government ensure that farmers’ consent is taken before their land is acquired.
CPI Rajya Sabha member D Raja, who led the protest at Chennai Central Railway Station, was detained after he tried to block rail services along with other party workers. The party claimed that 1,500 of its members were held for allegedly breaking barricades during the protest in Kolkata.
In Punjab, its state unit secretary, Hardev Arshi, was detained along with other party workers as part of a ‘jail bharo andolan’, said CPI, the second major constituent of the Left Front. The Bill which has been brought by the Modi government to amend the 2013 Land Acquisition Act is anti-farmer.
The NDA government under Modi is working overtime for corporates. We demand it (Bill) to be withdrawn immediately, CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said at a rally held on Parliament Street in Delhi. Reddy said that embracing economic reforms in 1991 resulted in the loss of seven crore acres of agricultural land, leading to a dip in the overall foodgrain production in the country.
Hence, he said, instead of agricultural stretches, the government must use land in its possession to set up industries so as to ensure food security. CPI is not against industries. Industries need land, we do agree.
But there is 1.40 crore acres of land under the control of the government and public sector enterprises. Three crore acres of waste land is there. This land should be given to the industries where it is necessary, he said. Lok Sabha, where BJP enjoys majority, had on May 12 referred the Bill to a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee.
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