Staff Reporter

BJP also promises ‘fair compensation’ to farmers for their land

“Improper to take land from the farmers and hand it over to DDA making profits”

“Farmers who received Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh per acre feel cheated”

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, on Thursday said his party would “reconsider the land acquisition policy” if voted to power in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections and would strive to ensure that farmers get “fair compensation” for their land.

In a statement, Prof. Malhotra said a large number of farmers have complained to him about the Delhi Government acquiring their land but not paying them the promised compensation.

“It is improper that the land taken over from the farmers should be handed over to the Delhi Development Authority and other agencies for auctioning and making phenomenal profits,” he said, adding that “farmers are the backbone of the country and their interests along with those of the others must be protected”.

The senior leader said “no organisation or agency should be allowed to usurp the land of the farmers for profiteering” and noted that farmers have themselves suggested a way out of the crisis by stating that they be made partners with the prospective industrialists who want to set up their manufacturing units on their land.

Prof. Malhotra said the farmers were aggrieved at the “flagrant breach of trust” by the Delhi Government that had from 2005 to 2007 taken over about 14,000 acres but was yet to make payments for it. He said the farmers had repeatedly approached senior Congress leaders beseeching them to pay compensation but this had not yielded any result.

Then, he said, the farmers had no option but to sit on an indefinite agitation which along with highlighting their plight also exposed the insensitivity of the Congress regime to their plight.

The BJP leader said the farmers had complained that while in 2005 a compensation of Rs.20 lakh per acre to Rs.25 lakh per acre was promised to them, the amount was later enhanced to Rs.52 lakh per acre in the face of strong protests. But since in 2007 a compensation of Rs.75 lakh per acre was announced, the farmers whose land had been acquired earlier but who had not received their payments felt cheated, more so because now the market rate of the land has shot up to over Rs.1.50 crore per acre, he added.