Chief minister Nitish Kumar sat on a 24-hour fast in the state party office on Saturday as part of his statewide campaign against the land acquisition bill.
State JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh, senior ministers Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Shyam Rajak, PK Shahi, Rajiv Ranjan Singh, party MPs Ali Anwar, Haribansh, Ghulam Rasool Baliyawi and senior party leaders also joined the fast.
“The satyagraha-style fast is aimed at stirring the heart of those holding power at the Centre on this serious issue concerning the farmers who will be deprived of their land if the bill, in its present form, comes into effect,” Kumar said.
Describing the land bill as “anti-farmer” and “a black law”, Kumar said the new land legislation was gross injustice to farmers as several safeguards for farmers in the original bill had been modified.
“In the 2013 legislation, which was adopted after wide consultations with different political parties and stakeholders, there was provision that land would be acquired only with the consent of 80% farmers of the area and after making social impact assessment. Besides, there were provisions for adequate compensation for the land owners and tillers,” he said.
He said the original bill had been modified by the present government to suit the interests of the corporate sector at the cost of farmers.
Kumar, who had also supported Anna Hazare’s agitation against the bill recently, said Bihar would not implement it at any cost.