The BJP on Wednesday lashed out at Congress and opposition parties for “spreading misconceptions” about the Land Acquisition Bill and creating a scare among farmers.
Addressing a Kisan Rally in DDA ground in Dwarka Sector 14, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said acquired land would be used for infrastructure development which will ultimately benefit agriculturalists.
“Congress is trying to scare the farmers. Through the amendments in the Land Acquisition Bill, employment will be given to the sons of those farmers whose land will be acquired. The compensation amount will be equal to the market value of the land. We want to provide facilities like roads, hospitals and schools to farmers. And for that we need land,” said Gadkari.
He further added that BJP is not against the welfare of farmers as the opposition parties say. “If land is acquired for building roads, then it will benefit farmers. Their supplies can be transported easily. We are doing this not for private builders but for the farmers,” he said.
Other senior BJP members who attended the rally were former deputy mayor of Delhi Rajesh Gahlot, lok sabha MPs Meenakshi Lekhi, Manoj Tiwari, Mahesh Giri and Parvesh Verma including Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay.
“Villagers came to me saying they do not want the amendments in the Bill. When I asked them why, they could not specify their reasons. They were fooled by Congress,” said Pravesh Verma, BJP MP from west Delhi.
“I am a farmer myself and I have worked in my farm in Bihar. I know that fair compensation should be given on acquisition of land and that is what BJP is aiming for,” Manoj Tiwari, BJP MP from north east Delhi.
The rally which started at 5.45pm witnessed a low turnout. According to the police, an estimated 8000 people attended the rally. The event started late, an hour ahead of the scheduled time. By the time Nitin Gadkari came at 8pm, most of the ladies and children had started to leave. At one occasion, BJP members were seen requesting the ladies not to leave.
Few people at the venue did not know what they had come for. Janaki Devi, 45, came with her family in a bus from Najafgarh. She did not have any clue why she was here. “I don’t know about the Land Bill. But like others in my colony, my family came here in a bus,” she said.
Congress is also going to hold a kisan rally on April 19 where vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to attend.