Resolution adopted at the Central Committee Meeting held on January 06-08, 2017 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its solidarity and extends its support to the farmers who are struggling against illegal and forcible land acquisition in many states subverting the beneficial provisions of 2013 Land Acquisition Act.
After the assumption of power by BJP and its allies at the centre, the attempts to subvert the existing land reform, land acquisition, land lease and land use laws gathered pace. After its repeated attempts for amending the land acquisition Act of 2013 failed, the BJP government is pushing through its agenda of circumventing the land reform laws by pressurising/persuading the state governments with the help of Niti Ayog to take steps to dilute the beneficial provisions of various laws related to land. Several States have amended land ceiling laws and land use rules. AP has passed the land pooling Act, Telangana issued 123 GO. In August 2016, the Gujarat government passed a bill inserting amendments to the land acquisition bill 2013. Rajasthan also has made acquisition of land much easier by removing the safeguards for the rights of dependents on land. All BJP States are pursuing similar policies. BJD ruled Odisha also has brought a legislation which could Congress-led Karnataka government amended its land reforms act to enable it to acquire land to the extent of hundred acres.
Now the central government is preparing to bring a model agricultural land leasing act. Niti Ayog is persuading the state governments to amend their tenancy and land use laws to liberalise the provisions for the corporates to get hold of the lands and for changing land use pattern towards non agricultural purposes. Taking cue from the centre and Niti Ayog, many of the state governments are bringing legislations and administrative orders to bypass/replace the provisions in the earlier land laws which prevent indiscriminate taking over of lands from farmers and which impose restrictions on leasing of land. Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh amended their laws to permit leasing of agricultural land for other purposes. Now Odisha, Bihar, Telangana and Karnataka are in the process of doing the same. Jharkhand government passed a bill amending its tenancy laws that allow use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. Jharkhand government is trying to amend the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Act. In Himachal Pradesh, Shamlat land enjoyed by Dalits, in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana d form patta land given to poor and in many other states the lands distributed to Dalits and other weaker sections is being targeted for taking over by the government.
Lakhs of acres are being acquired sometimes forcibly, sometimes deceptively from farmers by various state governments. AP government acquired four lakh acres, and is planning to acquire seven lakh acres more to put in its land bank. Telangana government acquired 2.5 lakh acres and proposing to acquire lakhs of acres more. It has already in possession of 1,75,000 acres of land, according to the chief minister. Rajasthan had amended its land reform laws and created a 10000 acre land bank. Gujarat created a land bank with 25000 hectares. In Karnataka 43 lakh cultivators of Government land called Bagair Hukum cultivators are faced with the threat of eviction due to the policies of the Congress Government in the State.
In the name of development, governments are facilitating corporate takeover of land, including fertile agricultural land. Lakhs of acres are being occupied in the name of industrial corridors without any transparency on the nature of industries and infrastructure. The lands are being offered to the corporates free or at throw away prices, while the peasants are evicted without offering proper compensation. All the beneficial provisions for the non -land owing rural poor and dependents on land provided in 2013 act are ignored. Worst victims of this land grabbing spree are poor and middle farmers, rural artisans and agricultural labour. There are struggles emerging in some points against the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Bangalore Mumbai Economic Corridor, Bangalore Chennai Industrial Corridor, Chennai Vishakapatnam Industrial Corridor till Kolkata (East Coast Economic Corridor), Amritsar Delhi Kolkata Industrial Corridor. Thousands of acres of land acquired in the name of SEZs, industrialisation and on other pretexts are remaining unutilised for years. These could become sites for mobilisation of landless and occupation of land with the slogan of Zameen Wapsi could be explored.
Against forcible land acquisitions, non payment or inadequate payment of the compensation, denial of compensation to d form patta holders, against taking over of fertile multi-crop lands, inadequate rehabilitation and resettlement provisions etc farmers are protesting and putting up militant fight at many places in all the states. To suppress the agitators governments are resorting to all sorts of repressive methods. Thousands of people are being arrested. Hundreds are being jailed by implicating them in false cases. Hundreds were injured in brutal lathicharges. Police resorted to firing in in Jharkhand, Telangana and Odisha. Two people in Jharkhand and Odisha died in police firings. In Bhagalpur, Bihar there was brutal police action against Dalit landless, a large number of who were women. Despite severe repression people are bravely resisting the anti farmer land acquisition policies of state governments at many places.
Resistance to indiscriminate land acquisition and loot of minerals, forest and water resources is also indispensable for the fulfilment of redistributive land reforms as well as ensuring housing rights of the homeless and livelihood security of dependents on land. It is also linked to the struggle to prevent large scale evictions of cultivators of government surplus lands for generations as well as the forest rights of the Adivasis and traditional forest dwellers. Wherever objective conditions exist the need to launch struggles for land to landless has to be realised. CPI(M) Central Committee extends full support to these fighting farmers and urges all the democratic sections to mobilise solidarity throughout the country to beat back the anti farmer and retrogressive land policies of the BJP led central government. It urges all the party state committees to do everything to help the farmers and other rural poor in pressurising the governments to resolve the issues in the interest of the farmers.