National

Congress plans campaign against changes in land acquisition law

Sensing widespread disquiet within and outside the political class over the government’s decision to “dilute” the land acquisition law, the Congress has decided to launch a nationwide mobilisation against the proposed changes ahead of the budget session of Parliament.

While the party has already made it clear that there is no question of supporting the proposed amendments, the central office-bearers of the Congress were on Monday told to ensure that the issue was taken to the grassroots by engaging the State units and activating the District Congress Committees (DCCs) for the campaign that had to be wrapped up by February 15.

Though Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was not present at the meeting, some office-bearers indicated that he was keen on building so much momentum into this campaign to merit a big rally — possibly in Delhi — just ahead of the budget session to drive home the message that the Congress was not just being obstructive in opposing the changes but was articulating the concerns of farmers.

Christened Chetna Abhiyaan, the campaign will also factor in the government’s failure to reduce diesel prices at the rate commensurate with the drop in international fuel prices. “Essentially, the aim is to drive home the message that this government is anti-people in general and anti-farmer in particular.”

The former Union Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh, briefed the general secretaries of the salient features of the ordinance and explained how many of the proposed changes in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, would affect the interests of farmers and also food security in the long run.

General secretary Janardan Dwivedi aired his personal reservations about the PPP model of development which the Congress-led UPA too over the past decade. In his opinion, both PPP and disinvestment were aimed at privatisation. There should be a proper balance between the private and public sectors, and let there be a healthy competition between the two, he said.

The idea of Monday’s meeting was to equip general secretaries in charge of the State units with necessary information to help them educate Pradesh Congress Committees on the issues that needed to be flagged and to counter the BJP’s propaganda on the “infirmities” in the Act.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 10:11:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-plans-campaign-against-changes-in-land-acquisition-law/article6760826.ece

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