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Land Bill should be sent back to Select Committee: CPI(M)

Apr 22, 2013 10:27 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: CPI(M) Politburo Member Brinda Karat reiterated the Left party's demand to send the Land Bill back to a Select Committee. Karat was speaking to CNN-IBN's Rupashree Nanda.

Here's the transcript of the interview:

CNN IBN: The signal that came out of the all party meet that was held on the April 18 was that the Left had agreed not to send the Land Bill back to the Select Committee. However, Left parties issued a statement reiterating their demand to send the Bill back a Select Committee. Would you still demand that the land bill should be sent back to the select committee?

Brinda Karat, CPI(M) Politburo Member: The Left parties have taken a very consistent stand which was reflected in the public statement precisely because Jairam Ramesh, for whatever reasons he believes is valid, has given a totally wrong picture about the stand of the Left parties. We've repeatedly told him, including in the all-party meeting, that 154 amendments cannot depend on Jairam Ramesh's scrutiny. 154 amendments which affect crores of farmers and tribals of this country cannot depend on the intentions, good or bad, of Jairam Ramesh. There is a Parliament. It (the Land Bill) requires Parliament scrutiny and that can only be done by a Select Committee.

I have been through each detail as far as scheduled tribes are concerned. In the light of Vedanta Supreme Court judgement which uphold traditional rights of tribals - do you know one of the amendments removes the very word, 'traditional' from the bill. The Supreme Court talks about the primacy of the Gram Sabha - the Bill and the 154 amendments among them remove the primacy of the Gram Sabha. In fact, they said no consent is required for many issues. So, Jairam Ramesh's scrutiny cannot replace the scrutiny of Parliament Select Committee. And why is he pushing it through? Is he pushing it through for political benefit? Is he pushing it through for the corporates? - what is this totally wrong impression that he is giving (that everybody has agreed on it?)

CNN IBN: When asked how he convinced the Left, Jairam Ramesh said had accommodated two of your concerns?

Brinda Karat, CPI(M) Politburo Member: Jairam Ramesh unfortunately in his role in trying to push through this Bill is prepared to compromise with the truth. The truth is he arrogates to himself the right for scrutiny of 154 amendments and he thinks farmers will be happy. The amendments in the bill as far as Scheduled Tribes are concerned cannot be accepted in the light of the Vedanta Supreme Court judgement.