Politics

BJP’s land bill a model congress should follow

First of all, let’s understand one thing very clearly. Congress’ opposition to the Bill is natural. It is engraved in their psyche to oppose BJP/NDA/Modi… Even if the Bill had only virtues and pro farmer/landowner clauses, the grand, old, dying party of India would still have given it a thumbs down, never mind the fact that the counter-arguments are flimsy, baseless and motivated.

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The opposition is using the issue of displacement of inhabitants, and the environmental degradation to target the Narendra Modi-led Government. They are trying to create an image of pro-poor in front of innocent citizens. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and the rest of the Congress leaders have accused the Government of being anti-farmer without producing any substansive, supporting evidence.

The BJP-led NDA government, driven by the development agenda, has always been pro-farmer. New initiative to introduce reforms in the land acquisition procedures were taken, keeping the interest of farmers first.

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With Make-in-India and infrastructure development acting as guiding principles, the government found it necessary to make amendments during the December 2014 session. The ordinance introduced by the NDA government is the course correction of the stupidity presented by Jairam Ramesh. According to the latest changes, if there is an immediate need of land for the matters related to national security, defence, rural infrastructure, housing of the poor, industrial corridor or electrification, it will automatically get acquired by the government. The compensation will be payed as follows: four times the market rate for agricultural land and two times the market rate for urban land. Isn’t it great? How is it anti-farmer?

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One of the talking point of the debate has been the Government’s intention of providing the Rehabilitation and Compensation. The one who does not own a land but works as a daily wager on that particular piece of land will be left stranded and unemployed. However, We all are missing a very important point here. When the land is acquired for the development of a project, there is great opportunity. It will bring in unskilled labour too, benefitting a wide range of workers.

The political reason is sending out a positive message to both the domestic and foreign investors as well. Prime Minister Modi is attempting to free the processes and remove bottlenecks.

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 From the economy point of view, it is essential to ensure that the land acquisition Bill is executed, sustained and respected. It should no longer be politicised by desperate people like Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Yadav….. The Bill is in the best interest of Indian landowners. Nobody will gain by jeopardising the execution of the Bill. India will be the ultimate loser.

It is thr right time to forget about the political differences and support India’s Prime Minister in introducing pro farmer reforms.