Millennium Post

Oppn show of strength puts govt on defensive

Oppn show of strength puts govt on defensive
Under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, there is a clause for mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent of land owners for acquiring land for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for private companies. However, the NDA government is trying to remove the consent clause by amending the Act.

The protest rally left the Delhi Police and security agencies in tizzy; they were seen struggling hard to deal with the protestors in maintaining the law and order situation in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi. All vehicular traffic movement was restricted and heavy security was deployed across the area. The rally of such magnitude had not been witnessed in recent years, with 14 opposition parties, along with farmers’ organisations joining hands and taking to the streets.

Later in the afternoon, a memorandum was submitted by the opposition parties to President Pranab Mukherjee against the Amendments proposed by the Narendra Modi government. Those who participated in the rally included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien and Dinesh Trivedi, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav, DMK’s N Kanimozhi, INLD’s Dushyant Chautala and the RJD’s Prem Chand Gupta.

In a statement to media persons, Sonia Gandhi said that they had urged the President to not let the government go ahead, saying it would severely hurt the interests of farmers. She said that “democratic, secular and forward looking forces are determined to defeat the (Narendra) Modi government’s designs” to promote corporate interests at the cost of farmers by taking away their land. She said: “Fourteen political parties met the President and presented a memorandum to him.
We have come together to oppose the Land Bill. We want the President to intervene and not to allow this Bill to be cleared.”

Speaking to Millennium Post, TMC MP Derek O’Brien said, “This is a historic march for the cause of farmers. We hope that the NDA government is watching this.” Later in the evening, he tweeted, “What a procession to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Something to tell the grandchildren about. Decades from now. We are all opposing this Bill, this Land Bill will not pass, it’s a dangerous Bill.”

Meanwhile, there was uproar in Parliament over reports that the Delhi Police will not allow any protest march in the restricted area and has enforced Section 144 around Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Earlier, in the day reacting over Delhi Police’s “prohibitory orders”, the Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav said, “We won’t stop and will continue to march.” CPM leader Sitaram Yechury called it a “violation of basic rights” to protest.

However, it was later clarified that the march will be allowed. “There are no prohibitory orders in place. We will not stop a peaceful march and to be more precise, Section 144 is not for peaceful protests,” Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said. Union minister and BJP MP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi denied charges that the government was using state machinery to stop the march. “Nobody can take away your rights,” he said.
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