Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Yogendra Yadav on Sunday challenged chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to prove that the party had vested interests in opposing the land acquisition ordinance.
He said the ordinance was aimed at providing land to private builders and hoteliers for constructing 5-star hotels on the proposed Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor which would affect farmers.
On the second day of the AAP's state-wide 'Jai Kisan Abhiyan', Yadav who was in Karnal said the party will not allow anti-farmer provisions in the ordinance to pass in the Parliament.
Leading his supporters, the AAP leader went to the camp office of local Bharatiya Janata Parliamentarian Ashwini Kumar Chopra 'Minna' at Sector 8 and handed over a memorandum to his personal staff as the latter was not there.
Yadav also left a jug full of salt at Minna's house reminding him to be loyal to voters.
On Saturday, chief minister Khattar had said that all opposition to the land ordinance was "propaganda by elements with vested interests". He said the ordinance was in favour of farmers who would be benefitted by it.
However, Yadav showed the clipping of Khattar's interview with a Hindi newspaper on February 19 wherein the chief minister reportedly hinted at bringing in a new legislation or a parallel policy to the Centre's land ordinance. "Farmers tend to resent if land acquisition is done without consent of land owners," Khattar had purportedly told the newspaper.
Yadav slammed Khattar saying, "Till Thursday Khattar himself was against various provisions of the ordinance but when AAP initiated a campaign, he changed his tone and calls the same ordinance excellent."
"He calls us propagandists with vested interest but let the Haryana government prove its baseless allegations against any AAP leader," he said.
Yadav showed a document to substantiate his claim that the state government slashed compensation rates for farmers by half under the new land acquisition policy. "We will expose the wrongdoings," he added.
Yadav also took a dig at the saffron party by recalling how it had promised farmers of implementing the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission across the country by enhancing the crop price to 150% above the market price.
"The same government has now submitted an affidavit in the SC saying that such an enhancement is not realistic," Yadav added.
A noted academician himself, Yadav also lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for what he said was "academic gagging".
He said it was unfortunate that an icon like the nobel laureate Amartya Sen was treated "shabbily", accusing the Centre of forcing Sen to step down as chancellor of the Nalanda University in West Bengal.
He also criticised the state government's move to rope in controversial RSS ideologue, Dinanath Batra, for suggesting changes in school education curriculum.
"Though it is the prerogative of a government to appoint experts of its choice but at least an individual with some acceptability should be selected for an important issue like education reform," said Yadav, a former member of University Grants Commission (UGC).