Ex-CM writes to PM on changes to land reforms Ordinance

Former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 and urged him to direct Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to revoke it.

“This amendment, which has a very high impact, needs to be debated in the Assembly before being implemented. I strongly urge you, in the interest of millions of farmers, to direct the Chief Minister of Karnataka to withhold the Ordinance,” he said in the letter.

The BJP government has promulgated an Ordinance that allows non-agriculturists to buy agricultural landholdings. There were restrictions on buying agricultural land as per the Karnataka Land Reforms Act of 1961 and 1974.

The Ordinance removes restrictions on purchasing agricultural land. Removing restrictions on purchasing agricultural land is “in tune to the interests of Bengaluru land mafia, which is waiting for more land to be made available to make enormous profits through real estate,” Mr. Siddaramaiah warned in a two-page letter.

“The average landholding is about 3-4 acres per family and this attempt to double the land ceiling will further decrease the average land holding, which will have an adverse impact on the production capabilities of small and medium farmers,” he said.

‘Will affect farmers’

The farmers and their families will be adversely affected and many will be forced to be the labourers, due to economic or social vulnerabilities, in the lands of industrialists or big farmers. “There is more possibility of manifestation of the Zamindari system, which was the main reason for the backwardness in rural areas,” the Congress leader said.

“The government has come up with corruption in bureaucracy and investments to the agriculture sector as the reasons for the amendment. This exposes the incapability of government to contain corrupt practice and instead weaken the farming community,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

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