Excerpts of Jitendra Chaudhury’s speech participating on the debate of proposed amendments of Land Acquisition Bill, today on 9th March in the Lok Sabha.

                Respected Chairman Sir, I rise here to oppose the ‘Bill further to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilatation and Resettlement Act,2013” on behalf of our Party CPI(M) and millions of peasantry, adivasis and poor in this country. The bill has attempted to replace the draconian Ordinance, which diluted the provisions of LARR Act,2013. 2013 Act was with prolonged and broader consultation, both outside and inside of the Parliament. Though we can’t say that it was full proof, however  certain safeguarding elements were there in to the interest of peasantry, adivasis, poor and agrarian economy of this country. Now, the present move for amending the crucial clauses of the Principal law shall bring a disaster to the plight of the peasantry and the economy of the country, adivasis and marginalized people shall be worst victim.

                Sir, any patriotic citizen of this country can’t be party to this draconian move. The proposed amendments has brazenly attempted to dilute the provisions of principal law, like as consent clause of land owners, while any land is to be acquired for private companies, the provision for Social Impact Assessment is going to be omitted, provision of returning land to the land owner if not utilized for the said purpose within five years is going to be scrapped, clause for punishing errating officer who misinterpret or intentionally go against the land owners shall be deleted. The amendments have been totally aiming at to give the handle to the Corporates, private entities and against the interest of millions of farmers, who produce bread and butter for the nation.

                Sir, from the very inception this Government is prone to snatch way each and every right protected by law and push them to the mercy of corporate players, even by blatantly violating the law of land. On 28th October, 2014 MoEF issued a circular by empowering the Collectors to whimsically declare the status of any land, which is contrary to the Forest Right Act, hatcheted to deprive the tribal and adivasis from their genuine claims. In September, 2014 MoEF again issued a memo by saying in other than Schedule areas consent not required, even it is tribal areas. In most of the Indian States, lakhs of tribal families inhabit outside the Schedule areas. This will uproot them from their habitat. Supreme Court’s ruling on Mining leases, which covered under Forest Right Act has been overruled. Maharashtra Government has formed parallel JFMCs to bypass the actual JFMCs, which are empowered to recommend forest right to the genuine occupier of forest land and authority to manage the minor forest produces. This way within the periphery of law and outside the law every attempt is on to thwart right of the people.

                Sir, this attempt shall bring disastrous situation to our agrarian economy and food security. In the early era of our independence GDP share from primary sector was 52% and livelihood dependency of 70% population of the country, today the dependency have not declined but GDP share from this sector gone down to less than 20%. So, what inevitable situation is waiting for us?

                Sir, I appeal to each and every sensitive member of this august house to think further and have a deep self introspection to which we are going to push our lot? I am happy not only the opposition enblock, even the number of esteem members belonging to the parties aligned with the ruling party like Shiv Sena, BJD, TRS and other also voicing against the certain amendments. We must come out consensually and oppose the bill to save our peasantry, adivasis and poor of this country.