‘States must be asked to suspend land acquisition’

New Delhi: BJP on Thursday asked the Centre to issue an advisory to all states to stop land acquisitions till the legislation in this regard is passed by Parliament even as it alleged that the Haryana government had leased acres of land illegally to Rajiv Gandhi Education Society.

"The government should bring the Land Acquisition Bill in Parliament in this session itself and not delay it further.

Also the Centre should issue an advisory to all state governments that till this Bill is passed all land acquisition should be stopped," former BJP President Rajnath Singh said.

He said injustice towards farmers is being done by state governments in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra among others. Some of the state governments were acquiring land to benefit builders and this should be checked.

"Forcible and unfair land acquisitions are taking place. In the blind race for development, destruction of land and natural resources is taking place. There is misuse of authority by the state governments. This is a form of corruption," Singh said.

He made a special mention of Haryana where he had visited Ullahawas and other adjoining villages on August 5 to meet farmers agitating against land acquisition.

"In Ullahawas, I met farmers who said in 2005-06, land was acquired with just Rs 12.5 Lakh compensation per acre and given to the Rajiv Gandhi Education Society," Singh said.

Asked about the cost of this land, he said it had been rated at Rs 5-10 Crore per acre.

Singh insisted that no work was done on the land and it was again sold to a private builder. Even after five years no building plan was made by those builders.

He maintained that there were many farmers in the region who were facing problems of livelihood and unemployment.

BJP alleged that the land has been leased to Rajiv Gandhi Trust for a period of 33 years. It further said the land belonged to the Gram Panchayat but given on lease to the Trust without taking the Gram Sabha's opinion.

"The Haryana government is misusing its powers. A judicial probe should be ordered into this land acquisition. It is unfortunate that this land was acquired in the name of serving a public purpose. The land of farmers is being looted," Singh said.

He alleged that while farmers are in a state of panic, government seems to be acting hand in glove with corporate builders.