Veteran Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said on Tuesday that the state government is continuously ignoring the issue of ‘shamlat’ land (village land reserved and used for common purpose), and demanded a special Assembly session to pass a new legislation on the issue.
“Since the Supreme Court’s decision, the Congress has been demanding amendments to the land act to protect the rights of farmers. But despite raising the issue in the Assembly, the state government did not take it seriously. This is the reason why farmers today have to protest by taking to the streets,” he said.
Hooda said the government hastily issued orders to transfer the land in the name of panchayats and because of this an atmosphere of chaos has been created in the villages.
“The Congress had suggested that the government should call a special session of the Assembly and make changes in the Village Shamlat Land Consolidation Act to avoid such a situation,” he said.
Talking to the media here, the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly said the arrival of paddy has started in the mandis, but the government is talking about starting procurement from October 1.
The government should start making the purchases from September 20.
“The farmers are facing all-out blows due to the policies of the government. Their input costs are increasing continuously while their income is decreasing. By imposing 20 per cent duty on export of all varieties of rice except basmati and parboiled rice, and by banning export of broken rice, the government has caused great loss to the farmers. The farmers of the country will not be able to get the benefits of high prices of paddy in the international market,” Hooda said.
Regarding the ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Hooda said the yatra is getting tremendous support.
“Public connect is the most important thing in politics. Rahul Gandhi is doing it through the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The yatra would be accorded a grand welcome when it enters Haryana. It will remain in Haryana for about 12 days, and a big public meeting will also be organised in the state during that period,” he said.
Hooda also expressed concern over the increasing drug abuse in the state, saying, “Failing to stop this, the government is now conducting a survey for drug de-addiction centres, while the focus should be on tightening the noose on the growing drug business. Drugs and crime have become rampant in the state as the law and order has completely collapsed.”
Responding to a question on closure of schools, Hooda said the rationalisation policy and the New Education Policy implemented in Haryana are not in the interest of the students.
“Instead of closing the schools, the government should fill 38,000 posts of teachers lying vacant,” he said.