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Jharkhand Governor returns contentions land act amendments

Jharkhand Governor Draupdi Murmu on Sunday returned the contentious amendment bills for making changes to two land acts, which had been lying with her office for her assent.
The Governor returned the amendment bills with a query, local media reports said. "How the amendments will benefit the tribal people?" is the query posed to the Chief Minister Raghubar Das-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
In November last year, the Jharkhand government forwarded the proposed amendments to the two acts -- Chhotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Pargan Tenancy (SPT) Act -- to the Governor for her assent, after getting those passed in the state assembly.
The BJP government had managed to pass the amendments by voice vote amid stiff protests from the opposition parties in the assembly. The angry opposition members while resisting the amendment had even misbehaved with Speaker Dinesh Oraon when the bills were tabled.
Apart from the opposition parties, the changes to the acts were also opposed by ruling alliance partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and even by some BJP legislators and Lok Sabha members.
The Governor had kept the legislations on hold since November last year. The opposition parties, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo and other tribal leaders had separately met the Governor and requested her not to clear the amendment bills.
After the amendments are effected, an agriculture land could be used for non-agricultural purpose. The amendments propose that the land could be acquired for development work, infrastructure and other such works by the state government.
The Raghubar Das government, meanwhile, is tightlipped over the issue.

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