New Delhi, May 14: Accusing the Narendra Modi-led government of "working overtime to help" corporates, CPI today staged a protest here to demand the immediate withdrawal of the "anti-farmer" Land Acquisition bill.
The party leaders and activists demanded the Centre to ensure that the farmers get their due right of having a say in the handing over of their land.
"The bill which has been brought by Narendra Modi government amending 2013 Land Acquisition Act is an anti-farmer activity. This NDA government under Narendra Modi is working overtime for corporates. We demand it (bill) to be withdrawn immediately," CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said while addressing the rally.
Reddy said embracing economic reforms in 1991 resulted in loss of seven crore acres of agricultural land, leading to a dip in the overall food grain production in the country. Hence, he said, the government must use land in its possession to set up industries instead of agricultural stretches so as to ensure food security.
"CPI is not against industries. Industries need land, we do agree. But there is 1.40 crore acres of land under the control of the government and public sector industries. Three crore acres of waste land is there. This land should be given to the industries where it is necessary," he suggested.
The Lok Sabha, where the BJP enjoys majority, had on May 12 referred the bill to a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee. Reddy said the decision was taken only to "postpone the catastrophe of the bill being rejected by Rajya Sabha".
"The committee has only one communist member, Mohammed Salim, from CPI (M). Majority of its members are from BJP. So, we know what is going to be the committee report. Our point is that the bill must be withdrawn," he said.
Besides Reddy, party secretaries Atul Kumar Anjaan and Amarjeet Kaur, National Executive member Annie Raja and others addressed the rally held at Parliament Street near Jantar Mantar. Farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan took part in the protest in Delhi, the party said.