Lashing out at the SAD-BJP government in state for not benefiting people with various people-friendly laws enacted by the UPA government at the Centre and for presenting various welfare schemes as its own, the union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Tuesday said that their intent to deny the benefit of new land acquisition law to farmers of nine Ludhiana villages was a classic example.
The minister warned the Punjab government against circumventing farmer-friendly Land Acquisition Act by trying to forcibly acquire their land in nine Ludhiana villages under the archaic 1894 Act, which stands repealed.
“I won't let you build your castles after devastating farmers by forcibly acquiring their land,” the minister said.
Addressing a series of workers' meetings in the Dakha assembly segment organised by former MLA Jassi Khangura, Tewari said: “It was shocking to learn that the Akali government which otherwise claims to be pro-farmer has decided to acquire land of farmers under a 120-year-old act when new law has been enacted in the Parliament.”
“Let us not forget that the 1894 Act was enacted by the Britishers and was aimed at snatching farmers' land in India,” he pointed out, expressing surprise as how could the Punjab government in a free country like India resort to imperial laws knowing that the new law, which watched interests of farmers, was already in force.
Tewari said that when he asked as to why farmers' land was being acquired under the old law, he was told that the law would come to force in state from January 2014.
He said, even if it was so, why can't the state government wait for a month and issue acquisition notices under the new law so that farmers' interests can be safeguarded.
“But the government's intentions are not clear as it does not want to benefit farmers and only want to snatch their land and hence hasted in issuing acquisition notices, which will be consigned to the flames,” he asserted.
The minister said, while on the one hand it was denying farmers the benefit of new central law, on the other hand it was presenting various welfare schemes such as the Food Security Act, Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana and other similar schemes as its own.
He distributed cheques worth `60 lakh and laid the foundation stones for various projects at different villages falling under Dakha assembly segment from his MP's local area development (MPLAD) fund. The money is being used for various developmental works in these villages.
Accompanied by former MLA and Congress Dakha halqa incharge Jassi Khangura, DCC president Pawan Dewan and other party leaders, Tewari said that his purpose was to distribute the money properly from his MPLAD fund across the constituency.
Cheques were distributed for constructing streets, health centres, dharamshalas, cremation grounds and mobile water tankers at Dewatwal, Bhanohar, Jangpur, Gorsian Makhan, Rauwal, Madarpura, Salempura, Ranguwal, Latala, Jodhan, Bassian Bet, Pamali, Jangpur, Morkrima, Dhollan, Khurshedpura, Sarabha, Ballowal and Chhapar villages.