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New land bill will affect food security, says Opposition

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Opposition parties on Monday attacked the central government over the land bill, saying taking away farmers' lands will affect the country's food security.

"Farmers in our country do not have water for irrigation and fertilizers, now they will also not have any land," Congress member Jyotiraditya Scindia said in the Lok Sabha after the government tabled the bill for discussion.

Asserting that the Congress will oppose the new law from streets to parliament, Scindia said: "It will affect the food security of the country."

"If you take tribal land, then be prepared for a spurt in Maoist activities," the member said, adding the country cannot have islands of prosperity.

The Right to Fair Compensation, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2015, would replace an ordinance which was promulgated by the government in December 2014.

Scindia also asked if the government respects the president. "The president had said ordinances need to be promulgated in emergency situations only."

"This bill should have been sent to the standing committee, but you vetoed it as you have a majority," he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee said: "We are opposing the bill 100 percent."

"In 2007, our leader fasted for 26 days to protect the interests of farmers in Singur in West Bengal," he said.

Banerjee said his party was struggling for farmers' rights. "By this amendment, the honour of farmers in this country is being taken away."

"We have seen a number of cases where farmers have not been given back the land though the project has not been completed," he said, asking why should multi-crop land be given away for industry.

"This will affect the food security of the country," he said.

Biju Janata Dal member Tathagat Satpathy said the bill was detrimental to farmers owning small tracts of land in rural India.

"Are we in 2015, or have we been dragged back to the British era? Development for whom? That is a basic question that troubles my mind."

Satpathy said his party strongly opposed the elimination of social impact assessment clause.

"On the one hand we are talking about providing irrigation to farmers, and on the other hand we are taking away their land."

First Published: Mon, March 09 2015. 17:32 IST