BJP opposes SEZ policy, prepares peasants for stir

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Hyderabad, Dec 3: Strongly opposing acquisition of ''fertile lands'' for Special Economic Zones(SEZs) across the country, the farmers wing of the BJP today exhorted the farmers to wage a relentless struggle against the alleged ''anti-farmer'' policies of the UPA Government.

Inaugurating the National Paddy Growers Conference orgainsed by the Kisan Morcha, former BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu opposed alleged acquisition of ''fertile lands'' for SEZs from poor farmers at a cheap price and giving them on a platter to industrialists.

He also demanded an amendment to the Land Acquisition Act to protect the interests of the farmers.

''Our main concern is to ensure that SEZs do not turn into real estate rackets,'' Mr Naidu, who is also incharge of the SEZ panel, said. The ''Nandigram disturbances'' were a black spot on the Left Front Government in West Bengal, he alleged.

He demanded payment of at least double or triple the amount of the market price of land being given to land-owners as compensation, besides making them stakeholders in the upcoming SEZs.

Calling for a change in the mindset of the Congress-led UPA government on the issue of Minimum Support Price, he said 50 per cent of the profits made should be given to the farmers while fixing the MSP for Paddy and other crops. The issues concerning the farmers should get precedence in the election manifesto of all parties, he exhorted.

BJP National Kisan Morcha Incharge Vinod Pande called the farmers to get ready for waging a protracted struggle to pressurise the Centre to hike the MSP for all agricultural produce to ensure a remunerative price for them.

BJP National Secretary N Indirasena Reddy felt the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission (ACPC) should be allowed to function independently like the Electricity Regulatory Commission sothat the farmers got a ''fair price'' for their produce.

Delegates from 13 paddy growing states attended the conference to chalk out a nation-wide stir against the UPA Government and in support of the farmers.

UNI

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