Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has defended the land acquisition ordinance promulgated by the Central government, saying it would only bring prosperity to farmers.
Khattar urged people not to get carried away by the "false propaganda" against the ordinance, which he said had been launched by "self proclaimed leaders with vested interests".
In a statement issued on Saturday, he said: "We need to understand that land would have to be acquired (by the government) for providing drinking water facilities in villages, houses for the homeless poor and also to develop infrastructure for setting up industries."
The chief minister said by means of a provision in the ordinance, farmers would be paid enhanced compensation under 13 different central acts including the Railway Act, 1989, Power Act, 2003, Land Acquisition Mining Act 1885 besides the Damodar Valley Corporation Act, 1948, by which land was acquired separately and compensation was less. This means that the solatium amount to farmers and land owners would now be increased from 30% to 100%.
Under another provision, governments have been authorised to acquire land for projects involving national interest like defence, but with the stipulation that farmers and land owners would get full compensation, Khattar said, adding that talks about low compensation in lieu of land were "misleading".
"I am shocked that some self-proclaimed leaders have been creating propaganda regarding this ordinance,'' the chief minister said. "Similar changes in the act of 2013 and the draft rules had also been demanded by the then Congress-ruled states, be it the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana or Prithviraj Chavan's government in Maharashtra, through written communications."
AAP launches stir
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party began its agitation against the ordinance - Jai Kisan Abhiyan - from Gurgaon on Saturday.
A large number of farmers and volunteers led by party's Haryana in-charge, Yogendra Yadav, gathered at the Kamla Nehru Park in Gurgaon.
They subsequently marched up to the area's MP and Union minister, Rao Inderjit Singh's residence and handed over packets of salt (namak ki thaili) to remind him of the promises his party (BJP) made to farmers before the polls last year.
AAP workers have said they would repeat the move with Karnal MP, Ashwini Kumar Minna, on Sunday as a part of their campaign.