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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Modi Sarkaar is Company Sarkaar & anti-Poor Any Changes to Land Act unacceptable

Modi Sarkaar is Company Sarkaar & anti-Poor

Any Changes to Land Act unacceptable

Blaming the Opposition for non- functioning of the Parliament, NDA government is planning to bring an amendment to the "Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2013". As per the newsreports, the sources in PMO say, that the government can't wait and it means business and for that they need to bring in Ordinances on crucial issues. It is on expected line since, the time NDA government has come to power on various occasions its Ministers Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Shri Piyush Goyal and others have advocated for bringing amendments to the new Act.

Amendments to Fulfill Corporate Agenda

We strongly oppose this move and believe that this government is completely anti-poor and is only interested in pushing forward the corporate agenda. It is a Ambani-Adani Sarkaar – a Company Sarkaar, which is out to sell the democratic rights of the people and democratic traditions of law making in the Parliament in the name of business. We allknow that the new Act has been framed after consulting all the stake holders and over a period of seven years after going through two Parliamentary Standing committees (2007 & 2009), both headed by senior BJP leaders, Shri Kalyan Singh and Smt. Sumitra Mahajan.

Mr. Modi has displayed least patience for the parliamentary traditions and often remained silent on the key issues concerning the nation and blamed opposition for non-functioing of the Parliament. Matters concerning the lives of millions of the farmers in this country can't and shouldn't be decided by mere Ordinance. These are matters of grave importance and need thorough debate and discussion in this democracy. In 2009, Gujarat Government under Mr. Modi had brought in an Ordinance to enact Special Investment region Act, 2009. The Gujarat Special Investment Region Act was directly to facilitate large scale land acquisitions by developing 13 SIRs and 4 industrial areas centered on manufacturing.

New Act - Response to Social Unrest in the Country

This move by Modi Sarkaar is completely unconstitutional and undemoratic. The new Act was a response to the Colonial Land Acquisition Act, 1894 which resulted in massive forcible land acquisition without any resettlement and rehabilitation, drastically affecting not only people who lose their land, but also those who lose their livelihood. These forced land acquisitions led to massive protests in places like Nandigram, Singur, Kalinganagar, Kakrapalli, Bhatta Parsaul, where many people died. For years, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Niyamgiri Suraksha Parishad, Anti SEZ protests in Raigarh, Jhajhar had been demanding a repeal of the colonial act and enactment of a new development planning act marking people's participation and provisions for livelihood based R&R. Finally, we have an Act, passed by last Parliament and rules for which have been notified by NDA government in August 2014.

The new Act has not even been fully implemented in earnest by either State or Central government, but a climate has been created by corporate houses and Modi Sarkaar that the new land act is an impediment to the developmental needs of the country.

Section 105, Consent and SIA Clause

The news that it is imperative that government bring in an Ordinance to deal with matters arising out of the Section 105 of the Act. We believe, it is not only misleading but again obfuscating what the Act mandates. As per the Act, the government was to bring a Notification in the Parliament in year 2014 to extend the provisions of the compensation and R&R to the people affected by land acquisition carried through the 13 central acts, as mentioned in Fourth Schedule.Rather than doing so, it is also proposing to make amendments to two of the key provisions, 'consent' and 'Social Impact Assessment' of the new Act. These two provisions are central to addressing the issue of 'forced land acquisition' and 'resulting impoverishment" to the communities.

It remains a fact that intense struggles are going on in various states across the country around the issues related to land acquisition, displacement, development plans and projects. The farmers, fish workers, labourers, artisans, facing uprootment from not just their socio-cultural environs but also livelihoods, are compelled to get united and raise their voices against unjust displacement pushed by Modi Sarkaar. Non-violent, peaceful and democratic organizations and their alliances are questioning forcible acquisition of land and everything attached to land, including minerals, ground water, as well as habitats, tree cover and common property resources that result in pauperization, more often, without rehabilitation.

We Will Oppose !

Any move to amend the new Act will be opposed by the people's movements. 20,000 people gathered on December 2nd on the streets of Delhi and we will mobilise against any forcible land acquisitions and attempts at making changes to the new act all over the country.

Mr. Modi must prove that his government is not a Company Sarkaar, but Janta Sarkaar by implementing the 2013 Act and making no amendments to the ACT.

We urge all the members of the opposition parties to intervene not let Modi Sarkaar get away with this anti people move.

Medha Patkar, Yogini Khanolkar, Meera - Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM);Prafulla Samantara - Lok Shakti Abhiyan & Lingraj Azad – Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava - Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe - NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelkandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah &Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra PradeshArundhati Dhuru, Richa Singh - NAPM, UP; Sister Celia - Domestic Workers Union & Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai - Matu Jan sangathan & Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant -Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra & Sujato Bhadra, NAPM West Bengal;B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini & Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi

 For details contact : 9818905316 | email :

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