Rourkela (Odisha): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday promised to apply the Land Acquisition Bill and bring a Tribal Bill in Odisha, if voted to power.
Addressing a public rally here, the Congress president said: “We will apply the land acquisition bill in Odisha. We will also bring the Tribal bill and make it applicable in Odisha.”
“Tribal land acquired by Tata company, that was unused for more than five years, was returned to the Aadivasis by Chhattisgarh’s newly formed Congress government, and we will do the same in Odisha,” Rahul added.
The land acquisition bill was drafted with an intention to discourage land acquisition. It was passed by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in 2013, and now the Narendra Modi government has introduced Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to make changes in the current Act.
Referring to Dana Majhi’s case, who shook the nation’s conscience after being forced to walk back home with the body of his dead wife on his shoulder, the Congress president said that Odisha was promised a super speciality hospital but the promise was left unfulfilled.
“Dana Majhi had to carry his wife’s corpse for 10 days because there was no ambulance. Congress workers gave a message to Modiji by raising Rs 20 lakh for the promise of super speciality hospital that was left unfulfilled,” he said.
Gandhi said that Odisha has rich resources, but the people here are poor because the government steals from them.
“Can Naveen Patnaik waive off the loans of farmers? He cannot. Did Modiji keep his promise of second Brahmani Bridge in Rourkela? Did he build a super-speciality hospital in Rourkela?” Rahul asked.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik, he said: “Chowkidar chor hai (the watchman is a thief) and Naveen Patnaik is remotely controlled by chowkidar. Whatever chowkidar tells Naveen Patnaik to do, he just agrees to it.”
Reiterating his party’s election promise, Rahul said: “Modi gave you Rafale scam, we will give you a minimum guaranteed income…No power in the world can prevent us from giving minimum income support to the poor people…This is not a promise like giving Rs 15 lakh or providing two crore jobs. We will fulfil our promises.”
Meanwhile, when some Congress workers started shouting “Murdabad” for Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Congress president stopped them by saying that such terms are used by the RSS and BJP people. The Congress party does not support such words for someone, Rahul said.
“Murdabad RSS ke log, BJP ke log kehte hain. Hum pyaar se kaam karte hai, hum jodne ka kaam karte hain aur hum in logo ko pyaar se harayenge. Murdabad hum nahi kehne wale (Terms like Murdabad is used by people of the RSS and the BJP. We work to love to unite people. We will defeat them (BJP) with love. We won’t use words like murdabad.)”
This was Rahul’s second visit to Odisha this year. Earlier, he visited the state on January 25.