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Jaitley holds talks with farmer’s representatives on land bill

Arun Jaitely

New Delhi: Battling strident opposition on the land bill, Government today held interaction with farmers’ representatives from various states to address their “misgivings” on various issues and take their concerns on board.

In an hour-long interaction, which saw demands including bringing back the consent clause in the land bill, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitely assured the farmers that the Government would go ahead on the issue only after incorporating their suggestions and that their interests will not be ignored.

Emerging after the meeting, former BJP Kisan Morcha leader and Advisor of DD Kisan channel, Naresh Sirohi told reporters that farmer representatives from over 30 organisations expressed their views on land bill in the meeting.

He said the minister has constituted a committee of five-six persons, which will record the suggestions of farmers on land bill, and present to him in future interactions.

Sirohi will be its coordinator.

“We will have more such meetings. Jaitley ji told them that they should decide on the land bill. He said that the government’s intention is very clear and it is with farmers. Government wants that farmers should get employment. It will take into account what farmers want,” he said.

Various farmer organisations also submitted petitions to Jaitley. In its petition, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) termed the new land bill as a “joke” on the years-long struggle of farmers and batted strongly for the 2013 land bill of the UPA.

The meeting with farmers’ representatives happened a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that amendments in theĀ  land acquisition bill in the interest of farmers, poor, village and nation will be accepted.

“Gaon, Garib, Kisan (village, poor and farmers): if the suggestions are favourable to these downtrodden groups and are in the interests of the nation, we will accept those suggestions,” Modi had said yesterday.

Taking it forward, Jaitley today discussed with farmers the provisions of the land bill and tried to convince them that the government has no intention to ignore their interests.

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