Congress holds ‘zameen wapasi’ rally to oppose Land Acquisition Ordinance

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New Delhi: Stepping up pressure on the government, Congress leaders on Wednesday took to the streets here and held a protest against the land acquisition law, saying it was against the interests of farmers.

The protest at Jantar Mantar comes a day after Anna Hazare concluded his two-day demonstration yesterday opposing the land ordinance as well as the bill proposed by the NDA government.

“The Bill is anti-farmer. We will not accept it. The government must protect the interest of the farmers,” said Congress’ Raj Babbar addressing the protesters.

The Congress alleged that the government’s land reforms are “anti-farmer” and structured purely to benefit the corporates. The protest “zameen wapasi” or “land recovery” slams BJP’s “ghar wapasi” campaign.

Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Digvijay Singh and Subodh Kant Sahay are among those leading the protest.

Addressing the crowds, Digvijaya Singh said, “​Farmers seem to be on one side and industrialists on another. People have to decide who they are with”.

“NDA government is betraying farmers, Modi ji has made many promises which haven’t been fulfilled till date,” he added.

Slamming the ordinance, Congress leader Kamal Nath also said, “the ordinance is unfair to farmers, BJP changed its stand and we shall protest”.

The Congress has been attacking the government on the issue, saying the bill to replace the Land Acquisition Act brought in 2013 by the UPA government was “ill conceived and anti-farmer”.

The party has been maintaining that its opposition to the land bill was non-negotiable and that it will go to any extent to ensure that it is withdrawn and the provisions of the original UPA law restored.

The land acquisition bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha yesterday amidst walkout by almost the entire opposition.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had joined Hazare yesterday in his agitation against the bill which the farmers say should have provisions for 70 per cent consent from land owners for projects and making the social impact assessment mandatory.

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