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VP seeks to corner CM

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 01:58 IST
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Shifts focus from Dadri to Unnao land

FORMER PRIME minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh on Friday sought to corner the Mulayam Singh Yadav government on the acquisition of land for the Lucknow Industrial Development Authority (LIDA).

He gave a call to the farmers here not to sign any document even if they were intimidated and forced by officials — a tactic  which he said was applied in Dadri. “Unite and negotiate for the price or be ready to get peanuts against your precious land,” the Raja of Manda roared at the Bar Association Hall, Unnao on Friday.

LIDA has proposed to acquire land of nearly 70 Unnao villages located along the highway from Banthara and Jajmau. According to Singh, the LIDA was influenced completely by the builders’ lobby that wanted to reap a rich harvest especially when the express highway had multiplied land prices in the belt.

“Another Dadri is in the making. Yes, Unnao will now be our area of focus to prevent any grave injustice to the farmers,” the former PM told HT adding, “the movement will be stretched everywhere where the government has plans to acquire lands to benefit the capitalists only.”

In his two-hour long stay, Singh kept taking pot shots at the government over the deal with Reliance. “The government gave away the land for mere Rs 150 per sq metre and the bank assessment on behalf of Reliance pegs the cost at Rs 5700 per sq metre,” he said. In addition, the government never checked the company’s credibility. It’s now well known that Reliance had no gas to make electricity. Nor did the government sign any document that the state would get electricity for Rs 2 per unit from this plant, he said.

“This deal is like, Pure Gaon Ko Pulao Khane Ka Nyota Hain, Aur Chawal Hain nahin,” he said amid applause from the gathering.

“The LIDA story is going to be the same, where the government wants to acquire land at throwaway prices for the builders. Then the jugglery of changing the land use from agriculture to industrial will come into play. The government must change the land use before the acquisition so that farmers can get a decent price for their land,” he said.