New Delhi: Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief
Ajit Singh on Thursday expressed hope that the crucial bill to amend
the Land Acquisition Act will be introduced in the next
session of the Parliament and it will favour the farmers.
Singh, who met Rural Development Minister Vilas Rao
Deshmukh to discuss the Bill, said his party had suggested
many amendments to the Bill and many changes have been done
since they last saw the draft of it.
"There is a very positive outlook from the Government
and the Minister (Deshmukh). We will meet again before the
Bill goes to the Cabinet and I am hopeful that things will
work out in favour of the farmers," he said while talking to
The RLD meeting with Deshmukh comes after the Congress
general secretary Rahul Gandhi was arrested at Bhatta Parasul
in UP last night where he went to support the agitating
farmers against the state`s land acquisition process for a
Singh had also led a delegation to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on May 10 to discuss about the Bill.
Asked about his party`s stand on provisions like land
acquisition by the state government and the definition of
public purposes under the Act, Singh said these were the two
things on which they would hold further discussions.
He opposed the provision that the state government can
acquire 30 per cent of land for any project and said that the
matter should not be left for the state government to decide
but be made clear in the bill itself.
"The whole idea is if there is any hurdle in a private
project, the government should acquire that land to overcome
that hurdle. In our view 10 or 15 per cent takes care of that.
Therefore, we are saying, don`t leave it to the state govt,
specify it here (in the Bill)".
He, however, added "There are lot of common ground
even on these two".
Asked for his reaction to last night`s incident of
Gandhi`s arrest, the RLD chief said "every political
party...many leaders were going there (Bhatta Parasual). Idea
is the same, atrocities have been committed, people are
worried. In politics, in our democracy, we should go and talk
to them," he said.
He also shot back at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati for her comments that various parties are doing
politics in the name of land acquisition.
Singh said politics implies "reaching out to the
public understanding their problems. We should all do
politics. But Mayawati is not doing politics.
That is the problem. She does not meet the people, the
ministers and hear their problem. She gets people arrested
when she goes on tours and imposes section 144. We want
Mayawati to do some politics," he said.