Kejriwal to address farmers at AAP rally against land bill

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2015 13:40 IST

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will address a rally against the Centre's controversial land acquisition ordinance in Delhi on Wednesday.

Party leader Sanjay Singh said AAP workers and farmers from across several states, including Odisha, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana and Rajasthan, will gather at Jantar Mantar at 10am to stage a protest against the Narendra Modi government's land bill that would make it easier to acquire land for crucial infrastructure projects.

The AAP's show of strength comes at a time the party is grappling with dissent -- it had recently expelled four senior rebel leaders, and a successful campaign may prove to be a shot in the arm for the rookie party that had won a historic mandate in the recent Delhi assembly elections.

AAP leader Ashutosh alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governmnent at the Centre was 'obliged by industrial houses', ANI reported.

"It's time for Modi government to pay them back," ANI quoted him as saying, "Which is why they are trying to force this anti-farmer ordinance (land ordinance) as law."

The proposed bill exempts projects related to defence, rural housing and power, along with industrial corridors, from the requirement that 80% of the affected landowners must agree to a sale. Critics say the move will hurt millions of farmers.

It also does away with the need for a "social impact assessment" to find out how many people would be affected by the loss of land.

AAP's demonstration plans hit a roadblock on Tuesday when Delhi Police maintained that the rally will not be allowed to proceed toward the Parliament from Jantar Mantar as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC remains imposed in the area.
"Jantar Mantar is the designated spot for protests. Nobody will be allowed to move from there toward the Parliament," said a senior Delhi Police officer.

Read: Rahul, Sonia Gandhi tear into Modi's land bill at farmers' rally
Read: Failure on land bill will badly reflect on PM Modi: RSS leaders

(With agency inputs)

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