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Double standards of Modi – Janlokpal Vs Land Acquisition

14th February 2014

The then CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal tried to table Janlokpal Bill in Delhi assembly. Passing this bill within 15 days of forming government was the key poll promise of Aam Aadmi Party. Before agreeing to form a government in addition to taking public opinion, a written assurance was obtained from congress for the key issues including passage of Janlokpal.

Delhi government tried to table the Janlokpal bill in Delhi assembly. BJP and congress argued that its unconstitutional to do so as an approval for the same has not been obtained from LG. The constitutional aspects of the bill could have been debated in assembly once the bill is tabled in assembly. Members of the assembly had a choice to vote for or against the bill after the debate. Even if a bill is passed by the assembly, its constitutional validity can always be challenged in the court of law. But congress and BJP both took a very rigid stand and did not allow the bill to be tabled in assembly. Arvind Kejriwal had already declared that he would resign in case he fails to fulfill this core poll promise.

Janlokpal bill that represented the aspirations of people was not allowed to be tabled and debated in Delhi assembly. Arvind Kejriwal resigned the same day. The process being unconstitutional was the reason cited by both BJP and Congress.

29 Dec 2014

Government in the center, popularly known as Modi Sarakar, brings in ordinance to amend key provisions of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. As per article 123 of constitution of India 1949, the president can promulgate an ordinance between two sessions of parliament if circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

Was there really so much of urgency to bring this ordinance?

Let us now look at the history of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Land Acquition Act was enacted during British rule in 1894 to empower the then British government to acquire any land belonging to farmers for public use. Since independence none of the representatives elected by us bothered to change the provisions of this draconian law. After a lengthy struggle by number of organizations, the parliament passed The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act in 2013. This was after a thorough debate in parliament having representations from all the political parties.

Modi Sarakar brought in an ordinance to dilute the key provisions of this act so as to make it easier for private players to acquire farmer’s land.

Though the government merely announced amendment to section 10 (A), there are number of ammendments that make this law as draconian if not more than the original land acquisition act of British era.

The poor farmers had to wait for 67 years to get the right for a fair compensation, but the government of the day can not wait for 6 months for a fair debate on the amendments that it wants to bring in.

The tabling of Janlokpal bill in Delhi assembly made it so uncomfortable for the politicians that they did not let it happen at the cost of depriving people of Delhi of a government. While on the issue of roll back of key provisions in land acquisitions that give the farmers a right to fair compensation, the government is so desperate that it has choosen to take the ordinance root.

Opposition parties including congress have done nothing more than lip service on this issue. Aam Aadmi Party, though a very small and infantile organization has decided to take it to streets.

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