The Hindu, July 6 2015, Chennai: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa must clarify her stand on the Land Acquisition Bill, said Medha Patkar, advisor to National Alliance of People’s Movements.
During an interaction with representatives from various opposition parties and farmers’ federations here on Sunday, she said, “Whether Jayalalithaa joins the National Democratic Alliance is her business, but she should answer whether she will support the farmers’, fishermen’s and the people’s rights to their land, as early as possible.”
Ms. Patkar was participating in a meeting, which the CPI (M), the MDMK and VCK attended.
Pointing out that representatives from the Congress, AIADMK and the DMK had abstained from the meeting, she said it appeared as if political parties had accepted the Central government’s plan to strip people of their resources.
“We appeal to all political leaders that it is time to rise above party lines and support farmers and fishermen, who stand to lose their resources,” she said.
Recalling the long battle to prevent the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from raising the height of the dam on Narmada river, she said the fight continued as several thousand farmers, residents of towns and villages had not been compensated.
The POSCO movement in Odisha to prevent Jindal and the Mittals in Jharkhand or the resistance to development of the Mumbai-Chennai and the Mumbai-Delhi corridor were started with the intention to prevent loss of people’s resources, she said. “Both urban and rural people will be deprived of their resources. Water, minerals and other natural resources are being sold to corporates. The land owned by the urban poor is the target of real estate developers. Land belongs to people, including [those in] agriculture, fisheries, and traders. We must save the land for the security of the people,” she said.
Ms. Patkar met with the representatives of various organisations before leaving for a farmers’ rally in Tiruvannamalai.