Ranchi, Mar 18: Around 60 tribal men in Jharkhand's Latehar district defecated in public on the copies of Land Acquisition Bill, in mark of protest against the Narendra Modi Government's amendments to the bill on Sunday.
As per an Indian Express report, the protest was organised by a group called the National Campaign on Adivasi Rights (NCAR), which has been working in Latehar. The group is busy studying adivasi-related expenses of the government, like the Tribal Sub Plan and MNREGA.
According to the organisers they are planning to hold similar protests in future till the amendment bill is reviewed and they have received invitations from 6 other sites in Jharkhand.
Earlier on Tuesday, opposition leaders, cutting across party lines, attacked the Modi government over the controversial bill as they held a protest march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan and handed over a memorandum to the President against the proposed legislation.
The group of politicians was led by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yetchury and others.
Former Defence Minister and senior Congress leader AK Antony said they were against the "anti-farmer legislation" and that the march represented the "sentiments" of crores of farmers.
"The entire opposition in Parliament is with the farmers and we will not allow this Bill to be passed. We are going to the President carrying the sentiments of crores of farmers," he told reporters ahead of the meeting.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who coordinated the march, dismissed reports that a section of the opposition had stayed away from the rally, which was billed as a show of unity.
"This is a struggle. They won by a margin of 31 per cent whereas we have managed to gather 69 per cent of the opposition and also made them march. (BSP chief) Mayawatiji is with us as well," he said.
He asked the government to take back the Bill and "bring a new Bill that will be in the interests of the farmers".
Former Union Minister Kamal Nath raised the demand for the Bill to be re-considered by a Standing Committee. Veteran Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy hoped that President Pranab Mukherjee will "walk the talk" and not sign the ordinance if it was re-promulgated.
"Earlier also, he had expressed his reservation against signing an ordinance. This time, we hope he walks the talk," said Roy. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the amendments introduced by the government "would bring a lot of loopholes and make it very difficult for the farmers to get a fair share".
Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said the march was significant as it was a first by the opposition during the tenure of the Modi government.
"During the Modi 'sarkar' we have for the first time undertaken such a march which is proof of the fact that the entire opposition, which incidentally holds a majority in Rajya Sabha, is of the united view that this (BJP) is an anti-farmer party," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)