New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said it would hold a protest against the Narendra Modi-led government over the controversial land acquisition Bill at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday. Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will lead the protest. Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will address a Kisan mahapanchayat on Sunday at Chauroli village of Gautambudh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress will not be part of an agitation led by Anna Hazare. However, it has invited Hazare and other organisations to be part of its protest. Hazare and several activist groups are undertaking a padayatra, which will culminate at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday.
Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said the National Democratic Alliance's land ordinance was anti-farmer and "against the soul and spirit" of the Right to Fair Compensation Law. The Congress has plans to launch extensive protests against the law across the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said the ordinance was brought in as state governments had complained of various problems in implementing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s Land Acquisition Act of 2013. “The farmers and villages will benefit the most from the amendments,” Sharma said. He said the previous UPA law had kept 13 areas out of its realm that disadvantaged affected farmers from getting adequate compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement under this law. These areas related to national highways, nuclear energy projects, etc. He said it will help growth and development. “But unfortunately, the Congress is trying to make political capital out it,” he said. Sharma said first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had brought in the first ordinance related to land acquisition in July 1962.