New Delhi/Kolkata: The NDA government came under fire on Tuesday from the Opposition and also its ally PMK over the ordinance to make changes in Land Acquisition Act with the move being described as "anti-farmer", "unjust" and "deeply disturbing".
Congress reached out to other parties asking them to come together to oppose the "anti-farmer" amendments while TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her party would fight the ordinance. The opposition also slammed the government for taking the ordinance route.
Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh termed as "deeply disturbing" the government's decision, saying "the dilution" will open doors for forcible acquisition, excess acquisition and diversion of land owned by farmers.
"NDA is a Government of Ordinances. Apparent now whom they represent. Amending Land Acquisition Act is Anti Farmer and BJP is Anti Farmer," AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said on Twitter.
Singh also declared that "Congress would oppose every move to dilute Land Acquisition Act" and reached out to other parties, saying "all political parties who are pro Farmers must come together to oppose it."
Former Union Minister Manish Tewari alleged that by "diluting" the Land Acquisition Act this government has sent out a message that "it is a government of the corporates by the corporates and for the corporates."
Government had yesterday recommended promulgation of an ordinance making significant changes in the Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas of industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.
"By giving up consent clause, you are opening the doors for forcible acquistion and in my view, forcible acquisition under any circumstance must be avoided," Ramesh told reporters in Delhi.
Ramesh was one of the key architects of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
"By giving up social impact assessment, what you are doing is, you are opening the doors for diversion of land like what happened in Uttar Pradesh where land was acquired for public purposes and was diverted to private builders and you are also opening the doors for excess land to be acquired," he said.
BJP ally PMK founder S Ramadoss slammed the 'back door entry' by the NDA government, saying the changes will affect crores of farmers in the country.
"We will fight against the 'black' and 'unjust' ordinance on land acquisition by burning symbolic copies of it," Banerjee, Trinamool Congress supremo, said addressing a party workers' meeting in Kolkata.
"The central government has 'forcefully' brought an ordinance on land acquisition. The country is going through a dangerous phase due to the BJP government," she said.