Press Statement

Leaders of the Left parties, the CPI(M), CPI, AIFB & RSP met in New Delhi today. They have issued the following statement:

Land Acquisition Bill

It is wrong on the part of the government to claim that there is a consensus on the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Re-settlement Bill. The Left parties are not in agreement with some basic provisions of the land acquisition Bill. A major flaw in the Bill is that it exempts 13 laws from the purview of the Bill. These include the Indian Railways Act, National Highways Act, Land Acquisition Mines Act, Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition & Development Act etc, under which the bulk of the land acquisition takes place. The Left parties are opposed to the definition of public purpose which includes also acquisition of land for private companies; there is no need for consent of those affected if land is acquired for government purposes; all the people affected like tenants, agricultural workers are not entitled to compensation; some of the provisions of the Bill are against the interests of the adivasis.

Since the Bill presented now has been totally changed from that which was considered by the Standing Committee, the Left parties reiterate their demand that it be referred back to the Standing Committee or be taken up by a Joint Select Committee.

Condemn Attacks in West Bengal

After the custodial death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta in Kolkata, there were widespread protests all over the country. In the course of such a protest in Delhi there was an unfortunate incident outside the Planning Commission’s Office involving the West Bengal Finance Minister. Using this as a pretext systematic and widespread attacks have been unleashed by the Trinamul Congress on the offices of the Left parties and their cadres and activists. More than a thousand offices have been damaged or destroyed. A situation is sought to be created where the functioning of the opposition parties is suppressed.

Serious human rights violations are taking place. A 22-year old student was arrested in Siliguri and kept in a hospital chained to his bed. The Presidency University was attacked by TMC goons.

The Left parties demand that the TMC leadership put a stop to all these attacks. The state government should act to maintain peace. The Left parties appeal to all democratic sections to protest against these attacks and demand that the rule of law be enforced in West Bengal.

Those who attended the meeting are: Prakash Karat, S Sudhakara Reddy, A B Bardhan, Debabrata Biswas, Sitaram Yechury, Abani Roy, D Raja, S Ramachandran Pillai and G Devarajan.