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Posted at: Sep 22, 2015, 9:19 PM; last updated: Sep 22, 2015, 9:19 PM (IST)

Cong misleading nation on land Bill: Naidu

Cong misleading nation on land Bill: Naidu
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. — PTI

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22

Attacking the Congress on its opposition to the land acquisition Bill, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said the opposition party was misleading the nation over the issue. The party that once forcibly acquired 80,000 acres of land in Haryana and 5,71,174 acres in united Andhra Pradesh now speaks of not letting the Central Government acquire “an inch of land”, Naidu said.

Addressing mediapersons along with Union Ministers Birender Singh and Nitin Gadkari, Naidu said, “Lack of job opportunities forced people to migrate to cities. Only 62 per cent of rural population chooses to remain in villages now.”

“Why did the Congress not apply the consent and social impact assessment clauses while acquiring land in Haryana? Who gave land to big builders in Haryana? Why did Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi not stop the Congress governments in Haryana and Andhra Pradesh? Let there be a debate on these issues.” Naidu said.

Naidu claimed that the Central Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked for the welfare of India’s rural population.

“It is the Modi government that is working for the welfare of people living in rural areas. The Congress is only making wild allegations and misleading rural people,” Gadkari said, adding that the Centre has started a project for developing skills of 60 crore children living in India’s villages.

“The Congress is misleading poor farmers. It is frustrated and is trying to mislead the people. It is stalling development,” he said.

Gadkari said the Central Government will use 80 per cent of rural land it acquires for the purpose of irrigation.

The Centre was considering waiving consent clause for land acquired for ponds for irrigation, developing rural infrastructure and defence purposes, he said.

“During the Congress regime, agriculture witnessed negative growth whereas, around that time, the BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh registered 14 per cent growth,” said Gadkari.

“We are a rich nation with poor population because of the Congress. We want to change this through new policies and increase the irrigation in the country,” he added.

Union Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Sanitation and Drinking Water Birender Singh claimed the Congress used Special Economic Zone policy as an excuse to acquire land.

“The Congress cleared 37 SEZ in Haryana but only six are functional,” Singh said.

He also accused the previous Haryana government under Bhupinder Singh Hooda of grabbing land and demanded inquiry into land deals executed during his regime.

“The Haryana government acted as a mediator between private parties for land acquisition. In my district, not one acre land was acquired. However, some 63,000 acres of land was acquired in and around Delhi and much more in Panchkula on speculation. A total of 80,000-acre land has been acquired in Haryana between 2004 and 2014. There should an inquiry into these land deals,” Birender Singh said.

The Congress MPs, he said, couldn’t make up their minds on what they want. “On the one hand, they refuse to give away even an inch of land, on the other hand, they want jobs for youth because they claim agriculture is not remunerative,” he said. 

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