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Land Acquisition Ordinance Undemocratic and Unconstitutional

AAP raises objections against the centre’s ordinance to amend the Land Acquisition Act.

Aap-LeadThe Aam Aadmi Party is opposing the government’s decision to bring in an ordinance for making amendments in the Land Acquisition Act of 2013. According to the party, the government is acting at the behest of industry and is ignoring the interests of the common man and farmer. Since the Modi government lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha it has taken an ordinance route to pass important bills. AAP also called for a full debate in parliament over the amendment.

According to the party, the government is only turning the clock back to the British colonial area by allowing land to be taken away from farmers and adivasis without any process of obtaining consent or even an assessment of who exactly is getting impacted by the land acquisition and to what extent. The main reason for protesting against the Land Acquisition ordinance was that it violates the basic spirit of why an ordinance is needed, the party said. The ‘regressive’ changes to the Land Acquisition Bill of 2013 was passed through the ordinance route on the last day of 2014. The Congress and the Left parties are likely to oppose the changes when the law comes to Parliament in the form of a bill to replace the ordinance. While signing the ordinance President Pranab Mukherjee had asked the government why was it taking a decision on this issue in a haste?

Ravi Srivastava, member of state executive committee of AAP said, “The 2013 Act was the culmination of decades of struggle by farmers’ movements and social movements across the country against the sheer injustice of the land acquisition process which had displaced crores of families in the name of national interest while they were not even consulted or made part of the process of development. The government has, in one stroke, betrayed the entire farming and adivasi community and made it clear to them that the government is putting the interests of its powerful corporate masters above the interests of the majority of the citizens.”

AAP has demanded that the government should immediately withdraw the ordinance, and bring any proposed amendments to the floor of the Parliament for a full debate.

“Land acquisition must not take place without a process of obtaining consent.

It should not be permitted in multi-crop land jeopardizing Food Security Act.

Acquisition must be preceded by an assessment of its impact not just on land owners but on all sections of the society, and this must happen transparently with public hearings. All the affected persons thus identified should attain a better standard of living post-acquisition” added Srivastava.

The government has amended Section 10(A) of the Act to expand sectors where assessment and consent will not be required. For five sectors, the consent clause has been removed. So the government or private individuals/companies will no longer need mandatory 80% consent for land acquisition in those five sectors.

Madhav-BhandariOn the other hand, Madhav Bhandari spokesperson of BJP defended the Ordinance and said, “The ordinance to bring amendments in the Land Acquisition Act has been introduced taking into consideration the interests of the nation. It will pave way for speedy decisions to be taken for the construction of hospitals, highways, dams and defence purposes. Adequate compensation will be offered to farmers.”

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