‘Took Us 2 Years to Enact Land Bill, NDA Murdered it in a Few Months,’ Says Rahul Gandhi
Speaker Madam, I would like to say something on the land Bill… I want to say little on the land Bill, little because Naiduji has said that little should be spoken. Discussion will start soon, therefore I will speak little. Because I also respect your words. Around two year’s time was taken to bring the Land Bill and the NDA Government within a few days has murdered that Bill.
The first blow was here on the neck the consent clause, which is the most important clause. We had said that if the land would be acquired from the poor people, from the farmers, from the farm labourers, then it would be taken only after his permission. But you said that we will not ask them, if we snatch the land then it would be snatched without asking them. It does not make any difference as to who is the farmer. The second blow, when you cut the neck and the body fell down, then you struck the second blow and said that Social Impact Assessment will not be done. We in the UPA said that the Social Impact Assessment has to be there, it should be found, who bore the loss, who suffered the impact after the acquisition of land? You said that there was no need of it.
They said that there was no need of the Social Impact Assessment. Then you struck the third blow. We had said. That if the land of farmer, labourer goes and if there is no progress on the project on that land for five years, and if the project does not even start, then that land has to be returned to the farmer. This too has been struck in the new bill. Now, what will happen? Whether the project starts or not, it may take ten years, it may take 20 years or it may take fifty years, now, the farmer will not get his land back. The Modi Government seems to be in a hurry to pass this bill. Somebody has filed an RTI. He asked your Finance Ministry as to how many projects are pending because of non-availability of land? We had thought that it should be around 80% maybe around 70 percent but your Finance Ministry said that eight out of hundred projects were pending for want of land. The Government of India has land, the state government has land. Around 40% of land is lying vacant in the SEZ (Special Economic Zone).
But you want their land. Why do you want to snatch the land of the farmers? The government has got enough land then why do you people want to have their land? This I want to clarify. Speaker Madam, land is not acquired in Bundelkhand, land is not acquired in the deserts of Rajasthan. It is acquired near the cities like Gurgaon and Noida and places close to Pune. Because the price of land here is escalating faster. Farmers of India, there is gold under your feet and they want to snatch that gold from you. The land which is selling for lakhs today, which you sell in acres, that land will be sold in crores five or ten years later, you will be sold in square foot. In ten year’s time, in 15 years, in 20 years your children may get ten crores, twenty crores, Rs. 50 crores for that land. But this government does not want to give it to you. This government wants to give that land to their industrialists’ friends, to their crony capitalists. This government is anti-farmer and anti-poor.
This is the government of Suit-boot and the Minister is smiling. I can see the minister is watching this side and smiling, because at one time they were standing with us and they were saying what I am saying. But today, they are sitting on that side, so by looking at them we have to smile. Senior leaders are sitting by their side. Sushma Ji is there. Advani Ji is there, Rajnath Singh Ji is there and if I can remember properly they used to sit here and when we passed that Bill, they clapped. They supported the same Bill. But today, I do not know why they are opposing it. There can be two reasons. One, that in reality their hearts must have changed, secondly, they are feeling afraid that they may not speak adversely, otherwise they would get caught.
The price of land is rising and the benefit should go to the farmer, but you people of the ruling party want that the benefit should go to your friends.
We want to tell you, this will not happen so easily. If we cannot stop you here then we will stop you on the roads. Will stop you by going on the road. Some time ago an economist had come to me. He was working on Soviet Union. He said that I used to think that thief comes in the night, they hide and come, they come by jumping in from the windows but I came to know that the biggest thieves comes in broad daylight, come in front of everyone and come wearing suit.
Excerpts from Shri Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Lok Sabha in Parliament on 29th April, 2015.