‘Government’s role is of a facilitator and not a bulldozer’

Digvijaya Singh, General Secretary, Congress

Given your criticism of Mayawati’s land acquisition policies, what is the Congress’ stand on Jaitapur and Srikakulam?

The Congress is not against land acquisition for public purpose in which farmers’ consent is taken and they are adequately compensated. Most of the acquired land in Noida is not for public purpose but for private developers. Plots have been allotted arbitrarily. As for Jaitapur, the agitation is against the nuclear power plant rather than land acquisition.

In the case of Narmada where both the BJP and Congress have stakes, the affected have not been compensated for years. Why?

The Indira Sagar dam on Narmada has displaced 35,000 families and 30,000 in Harsud town. As CM, I agreed to the demands of the representatives of the oustees. The project was completed without any agitation and is generating 1,000 MW of power and irrigating more than a lakh hectares of land. In UP, the CMwants to ride roughshod over the oustees.

Read rest of the interview in Tehelka dated 28 May 2011

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