Actor-politician and Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan on Sunday strongly opposed the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government's move to forcibly acquire land from farmers for building Andhra Pradesh's new capital. He asked the government to withdraw the notification. He urged the government to resolve the issue amicably by convincing farmers with written assurances that their interests will be protected.
Pawan was addressing a public meeting in Penumaka village in Guntur district after visiting a few villages where the government is trying to acquire fertile lands for building the state capital Amaravathi. The actor, who received applications from farmers and heard them, assured people that he would stand by them.
Pawan, who had campaigned for the Telugu Desam Party-Bharatiya Janata Party (TDP-BJP) alliance in last year's elections, advised the government not to build a capital after causing misery to farmers. Stating that the government should act responsibly as forcible land acquisition could have serious consequences, he suggested that an experts' panel be formed to solve the issue.
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"Give legal protection to whatever you are promising to farmers. Give it in writing. Tomorrow, when you may not be in power, what will happen to these farmers?" he asked. The actor hit back at the TDP ministers for criticising him for opposing land acquisition and reminded him that he supported the party for the betterment of the people.
He said he supported TDP and BJP in the last year's elections because then United Progressive Alliance government divided the state in an unjust manner. Earlier, the farmers told him that the land acquisition was illegal. They said the government was spreading a lie that they have voluntarily given up their land for the capital.
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Pawan, who has been voicing concerns of farmers, had tweeted on August 16 that the TDP government should not use the Land Acquisition Act on unwilling farmers of multi-cropped land in the capital region. The younger brother of actor and Congress leader Chiranjeevi had earlier threatened to launch an indefinite fast to protect the interests of farmers.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has been repeatedly stating that people were voluntarily giving up 33,000 acres of land for the capital under the land pooling system.