Mayawati backs demand for amendment of Land Acquisition Act

Agencies Posted online: Mon Aug 23 2010, 23:56 hrs

Lucknow : Under fire on the issue of land acquisition for an
Expressway project, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today backed
the demand for amendment to the Land Acquisition Act while blaming
"shortcomings" of the legislation for the recent farmers' agitation in
the state.
"Mayawati has said her government and party supported the demand of
farmers regarding amendment in the Land Acquisition Act 1894," Cabinet
Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters here.

She has also backed the proposed plan of farmers to gherao Parliament
on August 26 on the issue, he said.

Meanwhile Mayawati, in a statement, claimed the farmers were forced to
take to the streets "every now and then due to shortcomings in the

"Since long the farmers had been demanding to redefine public purpose
in the act, but pro-industrialist governments at the Centre kept mum
on the issue," she said in a statement.

Mayawati alleged that in the name of SEZ 50,000 hectare land of
farmers was acquired and handed over to industrialists across the

"Due to the anti-farmer policy of the UPA, they are forced to agitate
in several states in the country," she alleged.

The CM further charged that lakhs of acres of forest land were
acquired in the name of industrialisation due to which tribals were
dislodged from their native place and "have now taken to naxalism".

She alleged that during its six-year regime even the previous NDA
government overlooked the problem of the farmers.

"The BJP leaders, instead of wasting time in giving speeches during
farmers agitation, should create pressure on the Centre to amend the
act," she said.

Mayawati said her party was of the view that farmers land should be
acquired only with their consent.

"To protect the interest of the farmers, in 2007 the BSP government
implemented a new policy wherein land would be taken as per the
agreement rules," she said.

Mayawati claimed that as far as issue related to farmers land in
Aligarh and Agra was concerned, it had been resolved.

"Anti-government elements were trying to disturb law and order
situation in the state in the name of this issue," she alleged.

"Instead of visiting these places, people of various political parties
should create pressure on the Centre for permanent solution to the
problem of the farmers and ensure amendment in the Act," she said.

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