Kodandaram goes on fast, demanding repeal of Land Bill

Hyderabad: Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) Chairman Prof M Kodandaram went on fast at his residence in Tarnaka on Thursday, demanding repeal of the controversial Land Acquisition  Amendment Bill passed by the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Kodandaram originally announced a dharna programme at Indira Park to protest against the Amendment Bill, but shifted the venue to his house as permission was not given to stage a dharna there.  Strongly resenting the government denying permission for the proposed dharna, the JAC chairman said they would organize the dharna at the same place very soon with the participation of people displaced on account of construction of irrigation projects.

Asserting that the Bill passed by the Assembly went against the spirit of the Constitution, Prof Kodandaram wondered how a State Assembly could   push through a Bill amending an Act enacted by the Parliament. According to the   Centre’s Land Acquisition Act 2013, the State governments have powers to make amendments on the issues of compensation and rehabilitation, but they have no right to amend its other parts. If a State Assembly adopts a Bill on an issue included in the concurrent list, only the Centre’s Act will be valid. He said the government brought a Bill in the Assembly after its GO was struck down by the High Court. Kodandaram said that the TJAC would hold protest demonstrations at district and mandal levels on Friday.

Telangana Pradesh Congress president M Uttama Kumar Reddy and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly K Jana Reddy visited Kodandaram’s residence and expressed his party’s solidarity with his move. Accusing the government of taking unilateral decisions without taking into consideration the views of the opposition parties and the plight of displaced farmers, both the leaders warned that they would fight against this Bill by enlisting the support of farmers and other sections of society.

Jana Reddy flayed the TRS Government for adopting ‘suppressive attitude and undermining democratic values’. –NSS

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