In the wake of allegations by the farming community that the land acquisition bill has been amended to provide benefit to the corporate sector, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has assured farmers that the government will not acquire even a single acre of land for industrialists like Ambani and Adani.
Accompanied by union rural development minister Birender Singh, Gadkari met representatives of Khaps and a small group of farmers at a marriage palace on the outskirts of Dadri town in Bhiwani district on Tuesday.
He claimed that the amendments were made in the land acquisition law to ensure development in the country.
Asks farmers to shun wheat, paddy, sugarcane
Meanwhile, Gadkari asked farmers to shun wheat, paddy and sugarcane crops, saying these have failed to give remunerative prices.
Narrating his success stories in crop diversification and setting up his industrial empire, Gadkari said, "I have three sugar mills and I am a farmer like you, but you need to focus on crop diversification as your traditional crops have failed to generate income and now the MSPs of crops depend on the global economy".
"Industry is must for development and the proposed industrial corridors will help you to increase your income and generate jobs for your children. The Congress leaders are spreading misinformation about the land bill as they did not do anything for the future of farmers," he added.
Birender slams previous Hooda-led Cong govt
Addressing the gathering, Birender Singh accused the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in Haryana of misusing Sections 4 and 6 of the land acquisition Act to acquire 20,000 hectares in Gurgaon to provide benefit to the colonisers and industrialists.
"Change of land use (CLU) certificates were sold under the previous government. A senior Congress leader also asked me to be part of the CLU nexus, but I declined. Now, they are criticising the land bill of the BJP, which will ensure overall development of the farmers", he added.
However, about crop diversification, he said, "Farmers are ready to adopt crop diversification, but the government should announce crop security of at least Rs 10,000 per acre as the other crops also depend on the weather".
Gadkari and Birender also responded to the queries and concerns raised by some selected leaders of Khap panchayats and farmers over the land bill, but the latter seemed dissatisfied.
They demanded another loan waiver, farmers' share in industry in lieu of acquired land, jobs for all children of the farmers whose land will be acquired, crop insurance and consent clause in the land acquisition Act and a compensation four times higher than the market rate, instead of the collector's rate.