Maya backs demand for amendment of Land Acquisition Act

Under fire on the issue of land acquisition for an Expressway project, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today backed the demand for amendment.

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2010, 23:30 PM IST

Lucknow: Under fire on the issue of land
acquisition for an Expressway project, Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Mayawati today backed the demand for amendment to the
Land Acquisition Act while blaming "shortcomings" of the
legislation for the recent farmers` agitation in the state.

"Mayawati has said her government and party supported the
demand of farmers regarding amendment in the Land Acquisition
Act 1894," Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told
reporters here.

She has also backed the proposed plan of farmers to
gherao Parliament on August 26 on the issue, he said.

Meanwhile Mayawati, in a statement, claimed the farmers
were forced to take to the streets "every now and then due to
shortcomings in the Act".

"Since long the farmers had been demanding to redefine
public purpose in the act, but pro-industrialist governments
at the Centre kept mum on the issue," she said in a statement.

Mayawati alleged that in the name of SEZ 50,000 hectare
land of farmers was acquired and handed over to industrialists
across the country.

"Due to the anti-farmer policy of the UPA, they are
forced to agitate in several states in the country," she
alleged.

The CM further charged that lakhs of acres of forest land
were acquired in the name of industrialisation due to which
tribals were dislodged from their native place and "have now
taken to Naxalism".

She alleged that during its six-year regime even the
previous NDA government overlooked the problem of the farmers.

"The BJP leaders, instead of wasting time in giving
speeches during farmers agitation, should create pressure on
the Centre to amend the act," she said.

Mayawati said her party was of the view that farmers land
should be acquired only with their consent.

"To protect the interest of the farmers, in 2007 the BSP
government implemented a new policy wherein land would be
taken as per the agreement rules," she said.

Mayawati claimed that as far as issue related to farmers
land in Aligarh and Agra was concerned, it had been resolved.

"Anti-government elements were trying to disturb law and
order situation in the state in the name of this issue," she
alleged.

"Instead of visiting these places, people of various
political parties should create pressure on the Centre for
permanent solution to the problem of the farmers and ensure
amendment in the Act," she said.

PTI