As news reached Mamata Banerjee on Thursday afternoon in Kolkata on the decision of the empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM) of the UPA Government at the Centre on the Special Economic Zone, she immediately faxed a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding the repeal and abolition of the “draconian” 1894 Land Acquisition Act.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, Mamata wrote that the “colonial land grabbing law” was being misused by some State governments in the country (read Left Front) to acquire lands for setting up the Special Economic Zones.
Mamata says in the letter that this Bill was indirectly helping the State governments to ruthlessly displace the innocent people from their farmlands and homesteads.
Mamata implores the Prime Minister to bring a Bill in the Parliament to repeal and abolish the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. “I have requested the PM to constitute an expert group of jurists, social scientists, representatives of political parties and farming communities to look into the whole question of acquisition,” Mamata told HT.
Reacting the decision of eGoM, Mamata said: “At last the government has started taking a positive role to correct the loopholes in the whole process of setting up the SEZs and its fall outs on the poor farmers. But it is just a small beginning Let us see what is the shape of government’s policy on SEZ, the compensation package for the farmers displaced and the decision on the archaic Land Acquisition Act of 1894,” said Mamata.
Earlier in the Afternoon, the Trinamool Congress Core Committee held a crucial meeting on the agendas fixed up by its chief Mamata. In the meeting, the leaders strongly criticised the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat for saying on Wednesday that Mamata was more dangerous than Jamiat.
Describing Karat as a “rootless wonder who never won an election in his political life”, senior party MLA and leader Saugata Roy said: “Instead of criticising the perpetrators of crime in Nandigram, the Devil’s Advocate Karat is speaking against a person who is known for her secular credentials and pro-poor political commitments.”
Saugata said that the Trinamool Core Committee has decided to take political action if the State government takes any step against any of the police bullet-victims of the Nandigram massacre on March 14.
“It is a shame that instead of taking action against the trigger happy cops, the State home secretary said that the government is going to file cases against those injured and recuperating in hospital. This is preposterous,” said Saugata Roy.
In the Core Committee meeting, Mamata asked the party leaders to take latest reports about Nandigram and also whether the State government was moving clandestinely to acquire lands to set up the chemical hub in Haldia.
“The Paschimbango Krishijomi Raksha Committee is keeping a close tab on the developments and would take the issue up immediately after the government makes a move in Haldia,” said Mamata.