UP Assembly passes Dalit land amendment Bill

Amid strong protest and walkout by Opposition parties, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday passed a Bill that seeks to relax the provisions restricting SCs and STs to sell their land to non-Dalits.

PTI| Updated: Aug 26, 2015, 20:04 PM IST

Lucknow: Amid strong protest and walkout by Opposition parties, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday passed a Bill that seeks to relax the provisions restricting SCs and STs to sell their land to non-Dalits.

The Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2015, will ease the present law which says, the District Magistrate cannot give permission for sale of a piece of land if its area is less than 1.26 hectare or after selling a portion of the land the original land becomes less than 1.26 acre.

Calling the Bill anti-SC and ST, Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya (BSP) alleged that it aims at doing away with the provisions that protect these communities and feared that it would push them to become landless labourers.

Questioning the need for the Bill, he said it would clear hurdles in the way of land mafia to grab land of the SCs by terrorising them.

This is also against the socialist ideology of Ram Manohar Lohia from whom the Samajwadi Party takes inspiration, Maurya said and asked the government to withdraw the Amendment Bill.

Meanwhile, Maurya's party colleagues barged into the Well of the House shouting anti-government slogans. They were joined by BJP members as the bill was passed by voice vote.

BJP's Radhamohan Das Agarwal and Suresh Khanna and Congress' Anugrah Narain Singh and Pradip Mathur also opposed the Bill asking whether the government has conducted any survey which suggested the economic condition of SCs and STs has so improved that they can now sell their land to non-Dalits.

However, Dalbir Singh of RLD supported the government saying it were the rich Scheduled Caste people and mafias who were grabbing the land of the SCs in rural areas and through this Amendment the Dalits would be free to sell their land elsewhere.

Objecting to this contention Congress leader Pradip Mathur staged a walkout.