Anna Hazare to address farmers' rally in Gujarat village on Sept 15

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Ahmedabad, Sept 11: Social activist Anna Hazare will address a farmers' rally in Gujarat's Bharuch district on September 15 during which he is expected to touch upon the issue of "agrarian crisis" in the BJP-ruled state.

"Anna Hazare will address a gathering of Gujarat's farmers in Sarbhan village of Bharuch district on September 15," farmer rights activist Sagar Rabari said after his meeting with the anti-graft crusader at his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra today.

Hazare to address farmers' rally in Guj

Rabari said he along with others, including RTI activist Bharatsinh Jhala, met Hazare and briefed him about "agrarian crisis" prevailing in Gujarat for last one decade.

He said Hazare has given assurance to meet the Gujarat agriculturists and address the issue of agrarian crisis at the meet, which is likely to be attended by 50,000 cultivators.

He said they informed Hazare about two crucial Bills passed in the Gujarat Assembly to amend laws to facilitate industries as well as civic bodies to acquire, use, develop or sell land in absence of opposition from their owners.

These Bills are 'Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill-2015 and 'Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Land Laws (Amendment) Bill-2015. The first Bill amended the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, 1960.

The new law restricts a person from owning agricultural land beyond a certain limit and empowers the Government to acquire the surplus land from such owners. The second one allows industries to keep acquired lands for ten years (up from five years now) without starting units on them.

"As per the new provisions, a company can offer shares in place of cash to the owner of land purchased for industrial purpose. Some fraud companies can give forged shares to our farmers. This way they can cheat farmers. There should be provisions to protect the farmers as well," Rabari said.

Besides, there is no Government policy to give compensation to the families of farmers who have committed suicide, he said. This issue too will be raised by Hazare. Hazare had last visited Gujarat in 2011 to spread awareness about his Jan Lokpal movement.

The septuagenarian anti-corruption crusader was accompanied by his then protege and current Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and social activist Swami Agnivesh.

PTI

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