Cong bats for reintroducing bill on land acquisition

Terming as "barbaric" the treatment meted out to agitating farmers in Aligarh, the Congress today demanded that the Centre re-introduce the lapsed Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in Parliament expeditiously.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2010, 21:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Terming as "barbaric" the
treatment meted out to agitating farmers in Aligarh, the
Congress today demanded that the Centre re-introduce the
lapsed Land Acquisition Amendment Bill in Parliament
expeditiously.

"We strongly condemn the barbaric treatment, which the
UP government has meted out to farmers on Independence Day.

This is not a question of compensation but of sensitiveness,"
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

Four persons, including a PAC jawan, had died in
clashes between agitating farmers who are demanding a hike in
compensation for their land acquired to build a township along
Taj Expressway and police over the weekend in Aligarh,
prompting the Opposition to demand the resignation of Chief
Minister Mayawati.

The Congress today sought registration of cases
against officials responsible for death of farmers.

"Today the issue is of justice and the process of
giving them justice will not begin until FIRs are registered
against officers responsible for it," Tewari said.

He said though the farmers movement was led by UPCC
general secretary Ram Babu Kathelia, it was "not a Congress
agitation".

"Congress urges the (central) government to introduce
the Relief and Rehabilitation Bill 2009 and Land Acquisition
Amendment Bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha in February
2009 but lapsed as the term of the House came to an end,"
Tewari said.

When pointed out that Mamta Banerjee led Trinamool
Congress, an ally of the UPA, has been opposing the Bills, the
Congress spokesperson said the ruling coalition consists of
various political parties and each of them was entitled to its
view point.

He said that if at all there are certain issues that
need to be ironed out, it should be done and the bills should
be brought before Parliament expeditiously "either in their
orginal form or in amended form".

A party leader on condition of anonymity, however,
said that Trinamool was very much part of the coalition when
the Bills were passed by Lok Sabha last year and added there
was a need "to sit and talk with her (Banerjee)" on the issue.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today assured the
Lok Sabha that a "comprehensive" bill on land acquisition and
rehabilitation was being considered by a Group of Ministers
headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

"We are considering to bring it (to Parliament) at the
earliest... we have to ensure that interests of our farmers
are not jeopardised. They play an important role in ensuring
food security," he said.

PTI