Explain land acquisition in Andhra, ministers asks Congress

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Union ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu and Birender Singh on Tuesday said the then Congress government acquired 5.07 lakh acres of land without adequate compensations to farmers in undivided Andhra Pradesh and asked the party to clarify its position.

“About 1.29 lakh acres was acquired in Telangana and around 3.77 lakh acres in the rest of Andhra Pradesh from 2004 to 2014. The land purportedly acquired for special economic zones and industrial corridors etc. went into the kitty of big industrial houses whereas farmers were left high and dry,” Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said at a joint press conference addressed also by union ministers Birender Singh and Nitin Gadkari.

“Explain the actions of the then Congress government in acquiring 5.07 lakh acres of land in undivided Andhra Pradesh without paying adequate compensation to the farmers. How do you justify it? Explain first and then hold farmer rallies,” Naidu said.

Naidu also accused the Congress government of acquiring huge tracts of lands from farmers at dirt cheap rates.

“Those who acquired lakhs of acres of farmers’ land in Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and other Congress-ruled states – without paying adequate compensation and depriving them of livelihood – are now portraying themselves as well-wishers of the farming community,” Naidu said.

On the other hand, Naidu said, the National Democratic Alliance government brought the 13 central acts under the purview of the existing land law to provide compensation.

“These legislations were excluded by the then UPA government from the ambit of the land acquisition law. Why these 13 acts were not included in the first instance in the 2013 act itself? The Congress owes an explanation to the public in this regard,” the union minister said.

Naidu also accused the Congress of indulging in spit-and-run politics.

“Spit-and-run politics will not work. Obstructionist attitude in parliament is of no use. Sit and introspect. Introspect why your strength is dwindling. Introspect why you are losing in state after state. Introspect why nobody is willing to share the dais with you,” he said to the main opposition party.

Union Rural Development Minister Birender Singh raised the issue of land deals in Haryana.

“There is no end to such land scams presided over by the Congress. In Haryana, nearly 80,000 acres of farmers’ land was acquired on different pretexts. However, we all are aware as to who benefited from such deals,” Birender Singh said.

“Out of 37 Special Economic Zones notified in the last 10 years in Haryana, only six have been made operational,” he said.

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