Govt’s promise to provide land to landless tribals ridiculed

Bhubaneswar: Slamming the BJD government in Odisha over several issues including coalgate, CPI on Sunday ridiculed its promise to provide land to landless tribals and said if the Naveen Patnaik regime was really concerned about adivasis it should provide them land in one year.

“Odisha government has announced that it will provide land to all landless adivasis by 2016-17. I don’t understand why it should take five long years for this,” senior CPI leader A B Bardhan told reporters here.

If the BJD government is really concerned about the welfare of tribals, it can always make arrangements for providing landless adivasis with land within a year, he said. The state government, which claimed to have started working on the project, can give a push to the process to ensure land was provided to landless tribals within a year as it was armed with all details and records, Bardhan said.

The CPI leader’s remarks came two days after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on September 28 that all landless adivasis would be given land in tribal sub-plan (TSP) blocks covering all 19,016 villages by 2016-17.

Taking a swipe at the BJD government over coalgate scam, Bardhan said a number of mines were allocated in the state to private companies. Stating that all the mines should be under the custody and control of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), the CPI leader said industries should purchase minerals from OMC instead of being given captive mines.

Both Bardhan and CPI’s state secretary Dibakar Nayak slammed the Odisha government for providing land to industries and business houses at throw away prices while neglecting farmers.

While welcoming BJD’s protest against disinvestment in aluminium giant NALCO, Bardhan said instead of putting up isolated fight, the regional party should involve other parties and organisations to make it a people’s agitation.

Alleging corruption in many spheres, Nayak said vigilance monitoring committees in the state have become ineffective.