New Delhi: 12 March 2015

The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has condemned the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015 which was passed by voice vote a few days back. It is now slated to go to Rajya Sabha to transform into an Act after debate.

SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement said the Bill 2015 is anti-farmer and it appears that Corporate India has drafted it for the government. The proposed Bill will authorize government arbitrarily to acquire lands from farmers under the pretext of development. It must be remembered that how the Zamindars (good or bad) under the British rule, who were made to sell their land, became paupers in few decades. Even 40 times the value of land that British paid to Indians has no value today. This land acquire law is colonialist and full of double sided lies, he added.

Sayeed said that the original Land Acquisition Act, 2013 passed in Parliament under Congress-led UPA-2 had a consent clause for acquiring land – industrial corridors, Public Private Partnership projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence. However, after the arrival of BJP-led NDA government, it exempted these five categories from the rule of acquiring land in the Bill 2015 introduced in House through Ordinance first. Social assessment which was mandatory before acquiring land has also been exempted in the Bill. It seems one will see Adani / Ambani getting into farming industry and steal all the irrigated land. Instead of government empowering the farmers the Corporates are being obliged with.

He charged that in order to appease the domestic corporates and international finance capital, the Narendra Modi government is seeking to implement further economic reforms to permit them to maximise their profit generation by further exploiting the Indian people and resources by at times bypassing parliamentary procedures. It was the same BJP that shouted from the rooftops against the ‘ordinance raj’ earlier. This is a shameless volte-face. The Modi government has now begun to dangerously enlarge its agenda that threatens both secularism and democracy – the foundations of Indian Republic.

Sayeed said the Land Bill 2015 will not take people out of poverty, but will push them more into it. The land losers would become labourers when the supply is more than demand. So, the Opposition parties should, while closing ranks, must oppose the Bill 2015 tooth and nail so that it is grounded in Rajya Sabha and fails to become an Act.