Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh today said the land acquisition amendments issue will act as a ‘sanjeevani’ for the party in 2015 just as Chikmagalur was to Congress in 1978. “We strongly believe that what Chikmagalur did to Congress in 1978, the land acquisition amendments issue will do to the Congress in 2015. It will act as ‘sanjeevani’ (one that infuses life),” he told reporters here.
Indira Gandhi’s victory from the Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency in 1978 not only put the constituency in the limelight, but also gave her political rebirth. The Congress is not opposing the amendments for the sake of opposing because it has been cooperating with the Centre in passing many bills, Ramesh said. “We are not opposing for the sake of opposing. We are cooperating in many other bills including GST bill. This will be a long struggle for us,” he said.
Flaying the Centre, Ramesh said, “The purpose behind these amendments is to benefit a few chosen favourite capitalists and traders and there is nothing else to it.” Farmers land would be forcibly acquired, he alleged. As of now, these amendments cannot passed in Rajya Sabha as they were opposed by SP, BSP, CPI-M, CPI, DMK, JDU, NCP and TMC, Ramesh said. However, what the government would do, Ramesh said he cannot say, “but the Congress will oppose the amendments.”
Congress has already started a nationwide political campaign with “Kisan Virodhi, Narendra Modi” slogan, he said. Congress was firmly opposed to these amendments because all political parties, including BJP, passed the law in September 2013. “They all supported the law,” Ramesh said. Ramesh alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari were spreading lies on the amendments.
“Mr Modi and Mr Gadkari, the great champions of these amendments have been spreading lies. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a lie. ‘Dil Ki Baat’ is a lie,” he claimed. Asked if the move to oppose land acquisition amendments is anti-development, Ramesh said there was no single evidence to show that projects have been held up due to the enactment of 2013 land acquisition law.
“There is no evidence to show the 2013 land acquisition law has stalled projects,” he added. “Without giving a chance for the law to be implemented, the government has set about amending the law which I think simply is unacceptable to us,” Ramesh said.