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Jharkhand opposition calls Friday shutdown to protest land acts amendment

By Ians English

Ranchi, Nov 24: Opposition parties in Jharkhand have called for a shutdown on Friday after the BJP government succeeded in getting an amendment to two land acts passed in the state assembly on Wednesday.

The united opposition includes Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), Congress, Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Left parties. The opposition parties held a meeting and decided to call for a shutdown on Friday.


Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance that the land acts were formulated to protect the rights of the tribal and indigenous people, the Raghubar Das-led Jharkhand government succeeded in passing the amendment without discussion on the floor of the house.

Land and Revenue Minister Amar Bawri on Wednesday afternoon tabled the amendment bill amid opposition uproar. A total of eight bills, including amendment in the Chotanagur Tenancy CNT and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Acts bills, were tabled amid opposition sloganeering against the amendment. All the eight bills were passed without discussion within a few minutes by voice vote.

Read More: 6 Naxals killed in Jharkhand

With the amendment agricultural land can now be used for non-agriculture purposes. The state government can acquire land for infrastructure, power sectors, road, canals, Panchayat buildings and others.

Former Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren criticised the amendment. "The amendment has dealt a death knell to the tribal and indigenous people. People will teach them a lesson."

Former Chief Minister and JVM-P President Babulal Marandi said, "The state government has nothing to do with the welfare of the tribal and indigenous people. The amendment has been done to acquire tribal people's land for the industrialists."

Chief Minister Raghubar Das has said that the benefit of the amendment will reflect in coming years.


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