NDA land ordinance a threat to unauthorised colonies: Kejriwal

 Slamming the Centre for bringing in amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that if voted to power, he would "not allow Narendra Modi" to forcibly acquire the land of the poor.

New Delhi: Slamming the Centre for bringing in amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that if voted to power, he would "not allow Narendra Modi" to forcibly acquire the land of the poor.

The former Delhi chief minister claimed that the changes in the 2013 legislation, which have been effected by way of an ordinance, were designed to enable the government to "snatch" the land on which unauthorised colonies have come up in the national capital.

He further alleged that the amendments would also adversely affect the farmers and rural population of Delhi.

Addressing the second leg of Delhi's Village Dialogue at Chhatarpur, Kejriwal charged that the amendments were a result of the "pressure" on BJP to secure benefits to a "selected few people and companies" who had funded their Lok Sabha election campaign.

"The government, including DDA, acquired land from farmers in 1970s and 80s, but did not use it. In some cases, the farmers did not take the compensation because they did not agree to the acquisition. Over a period of time, unauthorised colonies came up there. But on paper, the land still belongs to the government.

"Under the new law, most of the land on which the unauthorised colonies have come up can be acquired by the government. Your land will go or people will be asked to pay more money," Kejriwal said.

Trying to woo voters after the Modi Cabinet recently cleared an ordinance to regularise unauthorised colonies, Kejriwal said the Centre has to make it clear whether the new provisions in that regard make it the owner of the land on which the unauthorised colonies have come up.

"These colonies have not been regularised for a long time due to wrong policies of successive governments. Does it mean that now the government agencies will become the owner of such land according to the provisions of the ordinance? Chhatarpur will bear most of the brunt because of this law," he claimed.

Kejriwal also cautioned that a BJP-led government at the Centre and in Delhi would be "detrimental".

"If Kejriwal comes to power, then he will not allow Narendra Modi to do this (forcibly acquire land)," he said, adding that the land amendments were not beneficial for farmers.

"The BJP has cheated the people of Delhi. Your land will be protected till my last breadth," Kejriwal further said.

"The (Land Acquisition Act) has been tweaked and now the government would not need the consent of farmers for acquiring the land. The clause related to return of land to the owner in case the purpose for which it was acquired is not completed within five years is particularly detrimental to the interests of the poor people of Delhi.

"The government would not have to return the land now," Kejriwal said, adding that if AAP comes to power, it will not "allow forcible acquistion of land and if land has to be acquired, it will be done wilfully by paying market price".

He alleged that the 2013 law, which the then UPA government had brought in, was amended at the behest of those who had funded BJP's election campaign.

"BJP spent over Rs 20,000 crore on elections. Now, those who have funded the polls have started putting pressure on the government to make changes. To benefit a few people and companies, the Land Acquisition Act law was amended," alleged the former Delhi chief minister.

Kejriwal, meanwhile, said that Delhi farmers would be given the same subsidies as farmers in other states if his party is voted to power.

Spelling out AAP's agenda for rural Delhi, he said the party would review the Delhi Land Reforms Act, which has been hindering the growth of rural areas of the national capital.

"We will review the border of Lal Dora and change it with the consent of the people residing in the villages, withdraw cases registered under Section 81 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act and scrap Section 33," Kejriwal said.

Assuring that village infrastructure would be upgraded, the AAP convener said his government would set up colleges and stadia in the rural parts of Delhi and ensure good roads, piped water, bus and Metro connectivity and power supply.

In a jibe at BJP, Kejriwal alleged the saffron party cannot slash electricity tariffs because it is associated with Anil Ambani, who owns one of the discoms providing power in the national capital.

"BJP cannot slash electricity tariff because Modi himself has nominated him (Ambani) for the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan. How will the BJP reduce electricity tariff? he said.

He also accused the BJP and Congress of "cheating" the people of Delhi by not dissolving the legislative Assembly.

AAP's Village Dialogue today saw the party trying to woo villages in south Delhi and in areas north of Palam. The first phase was conducted in Matiala, which covered villages in west Delhi and the area south of Palam.

AAP had fared poorly in the rural parts of Delhi in the last Assembly polls and is this time hoping to win as many of the 21 rural seats falling in such areas.

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