Patna: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for claiming that amendments in 13 laws under Land Acquisition Bill were brought by NDA to provide for compensation and described the Centre as anti-farmers.
"Modi is wrong by claiming that the NDA government has brought the Land Acquisition Bill to incorporate amendments in 13 laws related to land acquisition to provide for compensation and rehabilitation," Ramesh, former union rural development minister told reporters here.
During an interaction with farmers in 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme, Modi had said the NDA government brought the amendments to provide for compensation and rehabilitation in the event of acquisition of their land as the previous UPA government failed to cover these benefits.
This contention was "wrong, baseless and white lies" as the UPA government had decided to pay four times more than market rate for acquisition of land from farmers in rural areas and two times more in urban areas under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, Ramesh said.
He trashed the compensation rate announced under the proposed legislation saying the NDA government has pushed back the farmers' right over land to the 1894 law by proposing to take away the consent clause by landholders in the event of acquisition of land from them.
On BJP's attack that Congress' opposition to the proposed law on land acquisition was aimed at derailing development, the former minister said his party was not opposed to land acquisition per se.
"But we don't want to break the backbone of our economy by forcing the farmers to forsake their right over land as envisaged by the proposed law of the NDA government," he said, adding that Congress stood for balanced development by giving equal push to industrial and agrarian sectors.
On the contrary, he alleged the BJP has proved to be an adversary of the farmers by provisioning for forceful acquisition of land by seeking to remove the consent clause.
Ramesh claimed that the proposed act sought to make land acquisition a business proposition unlike the current law that provided for acquisition of land for development and that too with the consent of farmers at a steep rate.