Farmers in combative mood to protect lands

Farmers in combative mood to protect lands
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Highlights

In the fields now bearing rice, vegetables and other crop, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu promises to build a capital city rivalling the most advanced in the world.

  • Agriculturists do not believe promises that capital city will yield windfall for them
  • Vow to continue the fight for their livelihood

Guntur: In the fields now bearing rice, vegetables and other crop, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu promises to build a capital city rivalling the most advanced in the world. But none of the farmers believe a word of it. The promises being made by Naidu or the Ministers that this so-called capital city will become like Singapore have no takers. Farmers do not believe that the government has the Midas touch.
Farmers at Talluru in Guntur district arguing with officials during a meeting held to gather public opinion on land acquisition for the capital city.
A farmer Mariadas in one of the 17 village under Tulluru and Mangalagiri mandals, which are proposed to be declared as capital region, curled his lip at the entire idea. “What we have is a small piece of land. We are depending on it for our livelihood. The government appears to be intent on throwing the farmers to the wolves. Losing my land will ruin me,” he pointed out.

Another farmer Krishnaiah, too, expressed similar sentiments. He hoped that the farmers in all the 17 villages will come together and fight the government’s move to deprive them of their livelihood.

Opposition to the government’s proposal of land pooling has mounted because the government seems to have started off on the wrong foot. The powers that be, instead of ensuring transparency in formulating its policy on the land pooling, have started leaking information in bits and pieces on its intention to acquire as many as 30,000 acres of land for building the capital city. At first, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu hinted that the capital city would be built in the vicinity of Vijayawada and later changed the plans for the reasons best known to himself, farmers felt.

Farmers in four of total 17 villages, which proposed to be declared as capital region, are willing to part with their land. The villages in which the farmers are willing to give their lands are Tulluru, Sakhamuru, Nelapadu and Dondapadu. But they want the government to increase the compensation for the lands they are willing to part with.

The farmers are chiefly fuming at the government intending to grab the fertile lands on which they grow three to four crops. These lands are along the course of the river Krishna. The people in the villages, cutting across the political affiliations, are holding meetings on the day-to-day basis to chalk out the course of action to resist the government’s move to acquire their lands forcibly.

Major political parties like YSR Congress party, Left parties, Lok Satta and the Congress have pledge their support to the farmers. Lok Satta national president Jayaprakash Narayan is critical of the government’s move to acquire 30,000 acres of land. It is suspected that the entire exercise is aimed at benefiting the realtors. Apart from it, rumours have it that some big shots have already bought over vast stretches of lands in some of the villages and it has prompted the government to propose to declare the 17 villages as capital region. Former minister Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao and former Rajya Sabha member Yelamanchili Sivaji, though they are TDP leaders, are also opposed the government’s decision to acquire farm land and thus depriving the farmers of their livelihood.

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