Land acquisition, Lokpal on Anna's agenda now
The proposed amendments to Land Acquisition Act are anti-farmer, he said
Jan 28, 2015
Source : The Times of India


PUNE: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who is readying for another round of campaign against corruption, has decided to take on the Narendra Modi government on implementation of Lokpal and the proposed amendments to Land Acquisition Act.

Hazare, who is touring Maharashtra and Karnataka, discussed his plans with supporters. "The government has not taken steps to implement Lokpal. Also, the proposed amendments to Land Acquisition Act are anti-farmer." he said while speaking at a meeting in Karnataka on Saturday.

Hazare said he would continue his fight for Lokpal even as his former lieutenants Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal are vying for Delhi chief minister's post. However, he did not comment on Kiran Bedi joining the BJP. Anna said, "The government has not replied to my letters regarding implementation of Lokpal. People will take my movement forward," he said, adding, "whatever may be the result of elections, one of our former team members will become the chief minister of Delhi".

Before starting his tour earlier this week, Anna had told his supporters in Ralegan Siddhi that farmers would have a tough time if the government implements an amended version of Land Acquisition Act. Anna's team is working on details of the agitation and plans to involve farmers in the campaign.

The government has approved an ordinance to amend the Land Acquisition Act, which will remove barriers in a range of sectors like power, housing and defence to kick-start stalled projects. While the compensation will remain high as per the Act, followed by rehabilitation and resettlement, the procedure for acquiring land for these projects will be easier by omitting steps like social impact assessment, impact on food security, and consent of 80 per cent land owners.

As per the changes in the ordinance, multi-crop irrigated land can be acquired.

Veteran Gandhian P V Rajgopal and others have expressed their willingness to join Anna's agitation. "Anna is really disturbed with the ordinance on Land Acquisition Act. He is of the view that the amendments would destroy farming and farmers. Land acquisition is on Anna's top list," said Anna's close aide Vishwambhar Choudhari.

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