Lucknow: Under attack from farmers for
acquiring land for private firms, Chief Minister Mayawati
on Thursday unveiled a new land acquisition policy, which the
opposition dubbed as a "big fraud".
At a farmers` panchayat here to discuss their problems,
the Uttar Pradesh chief minister announced that the new policy
will be implemented with immediate effect, under which the
state`s role in acquiring land for private developers would
only be that of a facilitator.
She said that from now developers would acquire land
directly from the farmers.
Opposition parties, including Congress, SP and BJP,
however, reacted quickly and termed it as a "big fraud".
They saw in it an attempt to misguide farmers agitating
for a better deal for their land.
However, blaming the Opposition for instigating the recent
agitations, Mayawati said that instead of putting pressure on
the Centre to amend the existing policy, they enacted a
"drama" in UP and created a law and order problem at some
places in the state.
She said land acquisitions could only happen with the
agreement of 70 per cent of the farmers in a given area. In
case of disagreement, the project would be reviewed.
Hours after announcing a new policy, she directed
officials to examine within a week cases lodged against
farmers and withdraw those against the innocent.
The Chief Minister also assured the farmers of Bhatta-
Parsaul that her government would pay them compensation for
the damage caused during the recent incidents.
She asked the district officials to organise meetings on
22nd of every month to resolve the problems faced by farmers
in their districts, an official spokesman said.
Mayawati appealed to the farmers to go to Delhi and put
pressure on the central government for formulating a national
policy on land acquisition.