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Land Bill: Mamata urges MPs to intensify fight

Land Bill: Mamata urges MPs to intensify fight
All TMC MPs already have had a meeting with Banerjee in this regard. Another meeting on how to corner the government in Parliament is likely to be held on April 18.

As per the schedule, the Rajya Sabha will start from April 23, after the second half of the Budget session resumes in the Lok Sabha on April 20.

“Since elections are going on in the state, our meeting on contentious issues, including the Land Bill, will be discussed soon. Apart from Land and Insurance Bill, we will also raise our voice, if the government tries to push some other bills that will be anti-people in nature,” said TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.

The Land Bill, which provides for amending the Act of 2013, was passed by the Lok Sabha during the first half of the Budget session, but it got stuck (and lapsed on April 5) due to opposition in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA is short in numbers.

According to sources, TMC, along with other opposition parties - including the Congress, will once again stage a massive protest rally in the national Capital. On March 17, 11 opposition parties, led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had jointly organised a protest rally from Mahatma Gandhi statue outside the Parliament to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Sensing trouble, which can disrupt the functioning of the Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already started campaigning across the country to win the confidence of people in passing the Bill. Party leaders, camping in villages, are distributing booklets to farmers, highlighting the benefits of the revised Land Bill. They are also preparing a list of farmers willing to part with their land. The party will release the list soon.

Recently, the BJP’s eight-member committee, formed to seek farmers’ suggestions on the contentious Land Bill, has submitted a report to party President Amit Shah, mentioning mandatory “consent clause from famers” before acquiring land.

It will be a litmus test for the ruling government on how is it going to tackle the issues amid outrage from all spheres including the TMC, which has always been vocal on land issues.

As per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, there is a mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent land owners for acquiring land for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for private companies. But the NDA government is trying to do away with the “consent” clause by amending the Bill.
Sujit Nath

Sujit Nath

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