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Farmers' land being 'forcibly' acquired in BJP-ruled states:

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Claiming that land of peasants is being "forcibly" acquired particularly in BJP-ruled states despite withdrawal of the ordinanceby Centre, a farmers' body today asked the government to implement the Land Acquisition Act 2013.

The All India Kisan Sabha, with links to CPI(M), said the issue will be taken up during a convention of farmers' outfits, to be held later this month in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat, to "expose his fake model" of development by highlighting the plight of peasants there.

"Government should have had restored the 2013 Act after the defeat of the Land Acquisition Ordinance. But instead, states, particularly those ruled by BJP and its allies like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha...These are acquiring lands through draconian state acts forcibly, without consent of peasants," AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah said.

Briefing reporters about the decisions taken by the council of AIKS after its meeting in Bangalore earlier this month, Mollah said around 500 delegates representing various farmers' organisations are expected to attend the convention to be held between July 16 and July 18 in Ahmedabad.

Two papers will be presented during the meet. One on the status of peasants in Gujarat and other on the "forcible" land acquisition by states in parts of the country.

Mollah asked the government to protect rights of tenant farmers through "strict" implementation of Forest Rights Act and by stopping alleged indiscriminate snatching of tribal land by corporate companies.

In its 14-point charters of demands the AIKS asked the government to implement "progressive" land reforms across the country.

It claimed there has been a rise in farmers' suicides during BJP's rule at Centre with 52 farmers committing suicide everyday as against last decade's average of 42 suicides per day.

He alleged that the Modi government has allegedly failed in providing relief to peasants and asked it to implement comprehensive package of loan waiver for poor, marginal and middle peasants.

"Reverse the anti-people neo-liberal economic policies to stop farmer suicides. The government should provide Rs 10 lakh compensation for families of farmers who commit suicide," he added.

Mollah also asked the government to offer farmers minimum support price at the rate of 50 per cent in addition to cost of production as recommended by MS Swaminathan Commission and ensure direct procurement by Food Corporation of India from peasants.

The AIKS will also organise four jathas (foot marches) from Kanyakumari, Virudhnagar, Jammu and Kolkata raising agrarian issues which will culminate into a rally in Delhi on November 24, he said.

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First Published: Wed, July 13 2016. 20:43 IST