Land laws amendments to dominate Jharkhand budget session

Ranchi, Jan 16 (IANS) The budget session of the Jharkhand assembly beginning from Tuesday is likely to be stormy as the opposition parties are gearing up to raise several issues like land acts amendments and mining leases.

The winter session of the state assembly was washed away by protests over the move of Chief Minister Raghubar Das’s government to amend two land acts — Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Act (SPT).

The amendments were passed by voice vote without discussion amid ruccus during the assembly session despite stiff resistance from opposition parties. The amendments to both the acts now facilitate use of agriculture land for non-agricultural purposes, including infrastructre.

The budget session is set to start from January 17, and the main opposition parties have made it clear that they would not leave the two land act amendments untouched in the session. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) terms it “a closed chapter” but opposition is not in a mood to let the issue die.

“The issue of amendments to CNT and SPT acts is not over. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) will not backtrack from the issue. Besides, there are other issues which will be raised during the budget session,” JMM Executive President Hemant Soren told reporters.

“The worsening law and order situation, false claim of making panchayats cashless are issues which will be raised as well,” the former Chief Minister who is Leader of opposition in the assembly added.

The Congress too has said that it will raise the issues of the land act amendments as well as the renewal of mining leases.

“The demonetisation impact, law and order situation and other issues will also be raised,” Jharkhand Congress President and legislator Sukhdev Bhagat told the reporters.

According to BJP legislator Radha Krishna Kishore, the issue of CNT and SPT acts’ amendments is over.

He said: “The amendments were passed during winter session and they have been sent to the central government for clearance. The opposition should cooperate in running the budget session and should not repeat what happened in two last sessions of the assembly.”

–IANS

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