After pointing out discrepancies in the estimates of crop damage in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress alleged on Thursday that farmers' land in Rajgarh district was being acquired unlawfully.
State Congress vice-president and former MP Laxman Singh also claimed that forceful land acquisition was adding to the woes of farmers who were already affected by crop loss.
"Despite getting a stay order (till April 29), the administration is building pressure (on them) and is acquiring their land as per its whims," Laxman said during the press conference at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office.
He further said even if the government wants to acquire the land, they should be compensated according to the market rate.
Agencies such as MP Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (AKVN) acquire land and don’t use it, which raises serious questions about the intent of the government, he further said.
As many as 19 farmers who have land at Gilakhedi in Rajgarh district alleged that the compensation offered to them was so “paltry” that it couldn’t be accepted.
"The AKVN has offered just Rs 1.29 lakh per bigha (27,000 sq ft) though they sell our land for crores and make money," said Ganga Ram, a farmer. “The market rate is at least Rs 20-25 lakh per bigha," Ram pointed out.
Another farmer, Rai Singh, who owns four bighas in the same district, said the officials have threatened the farmers. "There is a stay order, but no action was taken despite our complaint," Rai said.
Echoing similar views, farmer Manohar Jaiswal said when the local officials began the process of acquiring the land they published the information in Hindi papers in Bhopal and not in the local papers in Rajgarh or Narsinhgarh.
"When we got to know about the process, we found that our signatures had been forged and it was written that there was no objection to the process. Subsequently, we went to the court and got a stay," said Jaiswal, who has obtained documents through the Right to Information.