HYDERABAD: For the first time, all Left parties in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh are coming together to force the government to change the land pooling and development policy announced by the Telugu Desam government.
Ten Left parties are scheduled to meet on November 12 in Vijayawada to chalk out the program of action. Though none of these parties has representation in the 175-strong assembly, all these parties have influential farmer and agricultural labourer associations. All of them feel that the model announced by government is more "developer-friendly".
"It is for the first time all Left parties are joining hands for a cause in new Andhra Pradesh. Besides CPI and CPM, other parties SUCI, Forward Block, RSP, CPIML (Liberation), CPIML (New Democracy) MPCI etc are participating in the meeting," CPI state secretary Ramakrishna told TOI.
Left parties, he said, were for prioritization of land for acquisition, which means, instead of directly going in for private land, the government should use the government land first, then take the dry land before acquiring private and assigned land.
"We are not opposed to acquiring land for the capital. But the government should not tread a path that helps developers grab a principal share. Who are these developers? Are they private realtors or government agencies? Government should come out with transparent model before pressuring farmers to part with their land," he said.
According to Ramakrishna, as per the present model, land acquired from farmers will be shared among three parties - the farmer, government and the developer. Stating that the entry of developer on the scene reduces the land the farmer gets after development, the CPI secretary said that out of the 30,000 acres of land proposed to be acquired, the developer will get nearly 6,000 acres.
"We don't want the middle-men to enter the scene. Our demand is that the government should develop the land and ensure farmers get more land, instead of just 1,000 sq yards for an acre of patta land and 750 sq yards for assigned land," he said. "All Left parties want a transparent policy and clear road map for the development," he demanded.
More opposition on the way
The YSR Congress has already set up a 'Capital Farmers' Rights Committee' to fight for justice to the farmers of 17 villages where land is sought to be acquired for the capital. BJP also has sounded the war bugle on the same issue. An organization called Krishna Delta Parirakshna Samiti is also planning a public meeting with the farmers of these 17 villages.