Chennai: Rallying parties against Modi government’s Land Acquisition Bill in its present form, Congress today asked Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK to “demonstrate” its commitment to farmers by opposing the legislation in Rajya Sabha though it had backed it in Lok Sabha.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told reporters here that the BJP’s controversial Land Acquisition Act was “dictatorial” in nature as it was brought in through an ordinance without discussion and had done away with many of the pro-farmer provisions made in a similar Act brought in by the Congress-led UPA in 2013.
The amendments include removing the “no consent clause”, doing away with social impact study, allowing the acquired land to remain unused for years together besides allowing land to be acquired outside proposed industrial corridors which will help a few industrialists and land developers, he said.
He appealed to all like-minded parties and those claiming to be pro-farmers and pro-land owners to oppose the BJP’s Land Act, besides asking the ruling party in Tamil Nadu (AIADMK) to also oppose it in the Upper House.
“AIADMK has the opportunity in the Rajya Sabha to demonstrate its support for farmers, farm labourers and land owners,” by opposing the Bill, he said. With a 37-member strength in the Lok Sabha, AIADMK had backed the government on this matter, drawing strong response from opposition parties in the state including DMK and CPI(M).
However, Jayalalithaa had stoutly defended her party’s support, saying it was extended only after AIADMK’s amendments were incorporated.
TN CM violated oath of office, alleges Karunanidhi
DMK president M Karunanidhi today slammed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam for his statement that the state's 2015-16 budget proposals were prepared under the directions of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and said such an act amounted to violating oath of office and secrecy.
“The budget is a confidential document which should be prepared by those in the government without the knowledge of outsiders.
If Panneerselvam himself accepts it was prepared under Jayalalithaa’s directions, doesn’t it mean he had violated his oath of secrecy?” Karunanidhi demanded in a statement here.
He also sought to know if a budget can be prepared under the directions of a convicted person, obviously referring to the Rs 66.66 crore disproportionate assets case in which Jayalalithaa was convicted by a Bengaluru special court. Jayalalithaa has already challenged her conviction in Karnataka High Court which has reserved orders.
While presenting the budget in the Assembly on March 25, Panneerselvam, who is also in charge of Finance Department, had stated that “I am also proud to inform this august House that each and every word and the underlying spirit behind this Budget statement are founded on the profound guidance provided by our Honourable Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa).”
Karunanidhi objected to the state Information Department mentioning AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister in its official website. Citing reports in a section of the media, he said the Information and Public Relations Department had mentioned Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister and incumbent Chief Minister O Panneerselvam as Finance Minister. Further, this department had conducted a photo exhibition on Jayalalithaa's birthday in February, and Panneerselvam's photo was not found even for "name's sake", he said.
The Information and Public Relations department was an important one, he said and asked who was responsible for its very website not addressing such a mistake, whether the Minister concerned or officials. "Do they think they cannot be questioned and whether that is the reason for the mistake?" Karunanidhi asked.