Hazare proposes day-long nationwide protest on Land bill

More than 40 famers’ bodies are expected to participate in the forthcoming daylong agitation.

Updated - April 02, 2016 04:06 pm IST

Published - April 13, 2015 04:35 pm IST - Pune

File photo of social activist Anna Hazare.

File photo of social activist Anna Hazare.

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has now proposed to kickstart a day-long nationwide protest to combat the Land Acquisition Bill in its current format.

More than 40 famers’ bodies are expected to participate in the forthcoming day-long agitation, informed Mr. Hazare’s aides.

“The agitation will be in the form of jail-bharo andolans, rallies and hunger strikes and will take place simultaneously in Delhi and across villages in states of the country,” said Mr. Hazare, speaking from his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district.

Mr. Hazare’s three-month-long foot march protest that would have seen him traverse more than 1,000 km from Wardha district in Maharashtra to Delhi has been hanging fire. Mr. Hazare said he was compelled to take the decision after several farmers from Maharashtra informed him of their plight wrought about by devastating hailstorms and unseasonal showers, owing to which they could not participate in the march.

While the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, the budget session of Rajya Sabha was cut short on March 28 after the Upper House was prorogued to give way to the re-promulgation of the Land Acquisition ordinance.

The septuagenarian crusader has urged farmers to capitalise on the break until Parliament reconvenes for the monsoon session.

He further said he would keep holding rallies until the run-up to the daylong agitation.

“We have to take this agitation beyond the local level to counter the government’s false claim that changes have been made in the bill. Only words have been altered else everything remains the same,” alleged Mr. Hazare.

The stalwart activist met with modest success in February when he held a two-day protest of disgruntled farmers opposing the bill at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

Since then, Mr. Hazare has consistently indulged in vociferous verbal sparring with Prime Minister Narendra Modi decrying the hastily passed ordinance on the Land Bill, challenging him to open debate and more recently sending a letter with suggestions to rectify the controversial legislation that is allegedly inimical to farmers’ interests.

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