New Delhi, Aug. 29: The main opposition BJP today not only backed the government’s land acquisition bill but went to suggest the inclusion of more stringent measures in the legislation, heightening fears over the law regarded as anti-industry.
BJP president Rajnath Singh presented the party’s version in the Lok Sabha. He wanted the bill to provide that under no circumstances cultivable land would be acquired. He also demanded that consent of farmers should be taken for government projects, too.
“No land acquisition should take place without the consent of farmers. The government should ensure that under no circumstances irrigated and cultivable land is acquired. If it is allowed, it will endanger food security,”Singh said as the BJP MPs thumped the desk. He asked the government it should have provided for retrospective effect of the stringent provisions in the bill in cases where farmers have refused to take compensation.
The bill provides that land, even cultivable, can be acquired for private industry only if 80 per cent of the landowners give their consent. Consent of the farmers, however, is not required in government projects like schools and hospitals.
The land acquisition bill has generated widespread fears that it would block setting up of new industries as the stringent clauses will make it very difficult to acquire land for projects.
The BJP’s stand looks in contradiction with Narendra Modi because Gujarat is known for providing hassle-free land to private industry.