Bengal assembly on Friday adopted a motion urging the Narendra Modi-led central government to withdraw the “draconian” land ordinance.
The ruling Trinamool Congress, opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress initially moved three different motions seeking the withdrawal of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015.
While opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra of the CPI-M opposed the motions moved by the Trinamool and Congress, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee insisted that a single motion be passed as the issue concerned the welfare of the people at large.
At the chief minister’s prompting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee later moved a single motion that was adopted by the assembly with only the Bharatiya Janata Party member opposing it.
“There are certain issues where for the sake of the country and the people, compromises can be made. But this law is draconian and if passed will destroy the entire country. There can be no compromise on this,” Banerjee said in favour of the motion.
“The ordinance had to be promulgated thrice but still it has not been passed. The centre should realise this fact, in democracy it’s the people who have the last say and they should immediately withdraw this law,” she said.
Asserting that industry and agriculture can coexist, Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said: “Options are open; why is this government looking for an easy option? Why is this government looking to snatch away the land of the farmers for the sake of industrialists?”
She also called upoon the lone BJP member Samik Bhattacharya to vote in favour of the motion.
But Bhattacharya opposed the motion and defended the proposed law saying it was aimed at eliminating land mafia.
“The Trinamool on one hand says it will not acquire land, on the other it plans to develop several smart cities. From whom would you be getting this land for the smart cities, is it the land mafia?” he asked.
Calling the land ordinance anti-farmer, Mishra expressed his displeasure over his party motions being not adopted by the assembly.
“Whenever we move any motion on any subject, it is never accepted, but when the ruling party brings a similar motion with different wordings, it is immediately accepted. I can’t fathom this duality,” he said.
Congress member Manas Bhuniya too called the land ordinance draconian.
“Not only the ordinance, but the entire land bill is draconian. The whole country is opposing it including the Shiv Sena. We must set an example and instead of three different motions, we must adopt a single motion to show that we are unanimous in opposing this draconian law,” he said.