Land Acquisition Bill Anti-Poor, Pro-Corporates, Says Jamaat

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Senior Jamaat-e-Islami Hind leaders addressing a press conference at the Jamaat headquarters in New Delhi.
Senior Jamaat-e-Islami Hind leaders addressing a press conference at Jamaat headquarters in New Delhi

JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI DEMANDS GOVT ACTION AGAINST CONTINUING HATE CAMPAIGN BY SAFFRON GROUPS

NEW DELHI —  Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the most influential Muslim organizations with massive following, has strongly opposed the BJP government’s proposed amendments in the Land Acquisition Act 2013 saying that the new bill “undermines” the rights of farmers and give more benefits to corporates.

Addressing a press conference at the Jamaat headquarters here Saturday, top leaders of the Jamaat termed the new bill as “anti-farmer and anti-people and aggressively pro-corporate” because, they said, “in the proposed bill, the rights of farmers and land owners have been undermined, to give more benefits to corporates in the name of Development.”

While opposing the new land bill brought by the Narendra Modi government, Jamaat leaders also said that the existing law made by the Congress-led UPA government isn’t pro-farmer either. However, the new bill, they said, will bring more harm to the farmers.

“The NDA Government has gone far ahead of the land acquisition Act 2013 of the UPA Government, though it was already pro-corporate and against the interests of farmers and land owners,” they said. Jamaat demanded that the clause of prior consent of land owners, and Social Impact Assessment should be made mandatory and in addition to it the proper compensation at market rate to land owners must be paid. The land owners should be given not only one-time compensation but also share in development projects on the acquired land.

Addressing the press conference, Nusrat Ali, Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind also commented on the Union Budget 2015-2016 and said the first full budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “failed to enthuse common people of the country as the government has not introduced any steps to check the rising inflation. Conversely, it has increased service taxes, and earlier through the Rail Budget, freight charges – both will further push price hike and inflation.”

Nusrat Ali, who was accompanied by national secretaries of the Jamaat including Mohammad Salim Engineer, Ejaz Ahmed Aslam and Mohammad Ahmed, criticized the government for slashing the budgetary provisions for the social sector. The budgetary allocation for Mid-Day Meal scheme has been reduced by about 30%, for Integrated Child Development Scheme by 50% and for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan by 21%. The overall budgetary provision for health sector has also been reduced from Rs.39237 crores to Rs.33152 crores.

“For full implementation of the National Food Security Act to ensure right to food, the government should have made big allocations but the budget for the food subsidy has got a meagre increase from Rs. 1.22 lakh crores to Rs. 1.24 lakh crores,” said Jamaat.

Jamaat leader also said the Budget 2015, first full budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, belies the claim and slogans of PM Modi and BJP about inclusive development.

“Jamaat is of the view that the Union Budget 2015-2016 lacks innovation for inclusive growth for which PM Modi and BJP had coined the slogan Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas. The allocation of Rs 3,738 crore for the Ministry of Minority Affairs is not enough as the government has added just Rs 4 crore to the previous year’s allocation for the ministry.”

Jamaat demanded a special budget for minorities on the pattern of one for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

“We have previously demanded that minorities particularly Muslims should have mini budget in the Union Budget as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes separately have.”

On the continuous hate campaign by some saffron outfits and leaders of the ruling BJP, Jamaat demanded the government to take action against them.

“It is very unfortunate that the spate of provocative statements started with the coming to power of BJP government at the centre continues unabated. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemns in strongest terms all such hate-filled provocative statements and activities which hurt the religious sentiments or promote an atmosphere of hatred in the country. In BJP rule attacks on the religious places of minorities have increased. In the capital Delhi itself six churches have been attacked during the last seven months. Likewise, at different places attacks on minorities especially Muslims are taking place and efforts are being made to violate the sanctity of their religious places and disturb the communal amity.”

“The silence of the government in these circumstances is extremely deplorable. It appears that such things are happening on the basis of a well decided policy,” said Jamaat and demanded the govt. to take “stringent action against these mischievous persons who are a danger for humanity, peace and amity and human brotherhood. This will ensure the atmosphere of communal harmony, development and mutual confidence.”

Reacting over the Maharashtra government decision to scrap 5% education quota for Muslims, Jamaat’s secretary Ejaz Ahmed Aslam said that the ordinance brought by the then Congress government was only to woo the community and the new BJP government allowed the ordinance to lapse and chose not to convert it into an act despite the fact that it would give Muslims seats in government-run schools. It was the government duty to fulfill it.

Commenting on the Nagaland lynching of an imprisoned rape accused, Jamaat’s Public Relations Secretary Mohammad Salim Engineer strongly condemned the incident and criticized the state government for not maintaining the law and order. He said the government must take it seriously as a mob broke into the high-security central jail in Dimapur, took out the accused and killed him in full public view.

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