INLD to oppose Govt bid to acquire farm land for SEZs : Chautala

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Chandigarh, Nov 21 (UNI) The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) will oppose any attempt of the Haryana Government to acquire agricultural land in the state for handing it over to private developers for developing special economic zones (SEZs), INLD President Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala said today.

''The Government of Haryana would be squarely responsible for the consequences of such an action'', Mr Chautala, a former chief minister, warned in a statement here.

The INLD supremo reiterated that the policy of SEZs, land acquisition, food security of the country and wellbeing of farmers needed to be viewed collectively.

He said the Haryana Government, in utter disdain of the state and farmers' interest, had pushed a policy that had already ''resulted in the biggest financial scandal of independent India''.

He reminded that there was a difference between land being acquired for the state and for private parties.

Ignoring this difference, the Congress Government had handed over land acquired for the state developed SEZ, which has been valued at Rs 1,00,000 crore in the market, to Reliance Industries in Garhi-Harsaru, he said.

Mr Chautala said the saga of bending rules and distorting rules to favour Reliance Industries did not end there.

''It is now apparent that as a part of larger conspiracy to rob the state of precious and rich agricultural land and the country of food security for the mind boggling profits of Reliance Industries, the Congress Government has now taken a series of steps to help Reliance realise its dream of having an SEZ of the size of about 25,000 acres'', he added.

He said, it was not difficult to notice the link between the approval granted by the State to Reliance to develop two SEZs of 12,500 acres each in Gurgaon and Jhajjar districts. Reliance will be having land which is of the same size Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had originally agreed upon, he added.

This approval, the INLD leader said, has to be viewed in the background of the announcement of the Chief Minister only a few days earlier that those farmers whose land was acquired for SEZs would be given additional Rs 30,000 per acre per year.

The Chief Minister had already decided to acquire land for SEZs to be developed by private developers and was offering sops to the farmers, Mr Chautala said.

He said in view of the fact that the land commands much higher price in the open market, the INLD will launch an agitation against such a move unless the private developers buy it at the market rate.

Mr Chautala said that it was unfortunate that the Congress government had chosen to be insensitive to the debate and apprehensions regarding the development of SEZs.


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