Ahmedabad: Amidst controversy surrounding the Land Acquisition Bill, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Thursday assured farmers that her government would never acquire their land forcibly to give it to corporate houses.

While speaking at a public function in Bharuch on Thursday, Patel alleged that some political parties are “misleading” farmers about the bill, an official release in Ahmedabad said.

In an indirect attack on the Congress, Patel said it is the same party which forcibly acquired farmers’ lands during its rule and sold grazing (gauchar) land to others, it said.

She said while devising this new bill Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept the interest of farmers in his mind.

The chief minister asked the farmers not to listen to those opposing the bill, since according to her, they are hindering the development process, the release stated.
Speaking about BJP government in Gujarat, Patel stated that during the last 15 years, it had never acquired land forcibly from any farmer.

“All land required to lay canals from Kevadia to Kutch was given by farmers voluntarily. I want to assure you that except for public utility works, not even one inch of land will be acquired from farmers and if we acquire land for public use, we will give satisfactory compensation,” Patel said, according to the release.

She said the BJP-led Gujarat government had created a system where the state rule does not come into the picture when private companies want land, the release stated.

“We have developed a system where farmers negotiate with corporates to sell their land. I want to assure you that the state government will never acquire land from farmers forcibly and give it to corporates,” Patel said, according to the release.

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