Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Friday opposed entry of foreign companies in the country, including steel major POSCO, saying such investors were exploiting the country’s natural resources for their own gain in the name of setting up industries.
“A brake should be put on entry of all foreign companies including POSCO in the country as they come and exploit our resources and loot farmers’ land for their gain,” Mr Hazare told a farmers’ rally in Jagatsinghpur.
Mr Hazare alleged that the Central and State governments were deciding sites for establishment of industries without consulting the affected people.
“Farming and non-farming lands are being snatched forcibly and handed over to companies against the wishes of the peasants,” he said.
“When land losers and uprooted farmers raise a voice of protest, their agitations are suppressed by lathis and bullets,” said the votary of a strong Jan Lokpal.
Maintaining that village committees and not the government should decide on acquisition of land for industries, he said the government must remember that people are the sole owner of the land.
Asking people, particularly farmers, to get united to fight against attempts at forcible acquisition of their land, Mr Hazare said a sustained movement was required to ensure a corruption-free society.
Unveiling a road map to strengthen his movement to have a strong Jan Lokpal, Mr Hazare said he would embark upon a country-wide tour from January 13 to unite people and peasants to fight corruption.
“If farmers get united, the government will be forced to bring a strong Jan Lokpal Bill. If it is implemented, it will reduce corruption by 65 per cent,” he said.
To mount pressure on the government for having a strong Jan Lokpal Bill, he said, people associated with the movement would gherao Parliament and State assemblies on March 13 next year if such a law was not enacted by then.
“Unfortunately, people are forgetting that they are the real masters while ministers and bureaucrats are their servants. Since the real masters are sleeping, servants are looting,” he said.