January 25, 2021

Congress’ Surjewala Terms Karnataka Govt’s Land Reforms Bill A ‘body Blow’ To Farmers

republicworld– Claiming that the new land bill passed by Karnataka government is a ‘body blow’ to the farmers of the state, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that it opens ‘floodgates’ for the acquisition of farmers’ land by non-agriculturists. Surjewala claimed that the passing of the legislation proves that BJP favours ‘ builders’ lobby’ over the interest of farmers. Teh new bill amends Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 eases restrictions on buying farmlands.

Karnataka’s Land Reforms Bill passed

In the 75-member Upper House of the state legislature, the ruling BJP has 31 seats while Congress and JD(S) have 29 and 14 MLCs respectively. The Karnataka Land Reforms (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 was tabled in the Legislative Council to replace an ordinance that was promulgated owing to the failure of the state government to get the legislation cleared in the Monsoon session. While this bill was initially opposed by both Congress and JD(S), the HD Dewe Gowda-led party extended support to the legislation on Tuesday. Thus, 37 MLCs from BJP and JD(S) voted in favour of the bill while Congress’ 21 members voted against it.

Amending the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, the aforesaid bill eases restrictions on buying of agricultural land. For instance, Sections 79(A), 79(B) and 79(C) have been repealed removing the income limit for purchasing land and allowing non-agriculturists to buy agricultural land. The Congress party had opposed the bill citing that the agricultural land might be used for real estate purposes. The support from JDS came days after former CM Kumaraswamy slammed Siddaramaiah and said that he would continue to be CM if he had chosen BJP instead of Congress.

Kumaraswamy had remarked, “The goodwill that I had earned from the people of the state in 2006-07 (as CM) and which I had maintained for 12 years despite the big campaign against me for not transferring power to BJP, everything got destroyed by joining hands with the Congress. I might have been Chief Minister till now if I had chosen BJP.”

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