A number of farmers had staged a protest along the Panchkula-Chandigarh border on Monday demanding ownership rights to those who have been occupying the common land in villages for the past many decades. In April, the Supreme Court had held that in respect to the land taken from the proprietors from their permissible ceiling limits under a Punjab law, only the management and control would vest with the panchayat and not the title. Hooda said the state government hastily issued orders to transfer the land in the name of panchayats, creating an atmosphere of chaos in villages. The state government should call a special session of the Haryana Assembly to discuss the issue and pass a legislation to amend the Land Act, he said.
He also alleged that the government is continuously ignoring the issue. ”Since the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year, the Congress has been demanding amendments to the Land Act to protect the rights of farmers. But despite raising the issue in the assembly earlier, the government did not take it seriously,” he said. Hooda said the Congress had earlier suggested that the government should call a special session of the Assembly and make changes in the Land Act to avoid such a situation. ”Now, the government should immediately convene a special session,” he said.
The former Haryana chief minister also took a dig at the government over the procurement of paddy, saying the crop has started arriving in grain markets but its talking of starting the process from October 1.
He demanded that the government start the procurement from September 20.
”Farmers are facing all-out blows due to wrong policies of the government. Their input costs are increasing continuously, and income is decreasing,” he said.
Hooda reiterated that the state government had ”cut” the old-age pension of several beneficiaries.
”Their ‘Parivar Pehchan Patra’ (family id) scheme is just a ‘pension katu’ scheme as the pension of 5.14 lakh elderly, widows and destitute people has been cut,” he said. He reiterated that if the Congress came to power in the state in next Assembly polls, pension will be given to the elderly on the basis of self-declared income by scrapping the Parivar Pehchan Patra scheme.
Hooda also criticised the government over the drug abuse in the state.
”Drugs and crime have become rampant in the state as the law and order has collapsed. The National Crime Records Bureau figures themselves are revealing the truth about the law and order situation,” he said.
Regarding the Congress’ ”Bharat Jodo Yatra”, Hooda said it is getting tremendous support.
”The yatra will be given a grand welcome when it enters Haryana. The yatra will remain in Haryana for about 12 days and a big public meeting will be organised in the state during this period,” he said.