New Delhi: Strongly opposing the recently promulgated ordinance on the land acquisition legislation, Aam Aadmi Party or AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal questioned the alleged haste with which the BJP-led government cleared the ordinance.
"Whoever gave money to the BJP for its campaign (during the 2014 general elections) has put pressure on the government. That's why the government has buckled," alleged Delhi's former Chief Minister.
He was addressing a public rally in Chhatarpur in the south-west part of the capital as part of Delhi Dialogue, an initiative by the party in the run-up to the assembly elections.
"Farmers need to be consulted before their land is acquired. But the new ordinance has done away with the consent clause. Don't get fooled by the slogan of the BJP," he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party has said it will start a nation-wide agitation against the ordinance from Monday.
Mr. Kejriwal has promised to increase the area under 'Lal Dora' (a term used during British time, indicating residential areas which would not be taxed) in Delhi's villages.
He has also promised to provide electricity and the permission to install tube-wells if he comes to power.
Meanwhile, in a statement on his Facebook post, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the ordinance followed extensive consultations, where state governments led by most political parties supported these changes.
Justifying the urgency, he also wrote that the present ordinance "provides that the farmers would get higher compensation if land is acquired under any of the exempted laws".
"It goes a step further than the 2013 Act itself. This also explains the urgency of issuing the ordinance on the last day of the year since otherwise the government would have been in default of the complicated approval provisions outlined in the 2013 Act," said the Finance Minister.
"Almost all the exempted purposes benefit rural India. They would enhance the value of land, create employment and provide rural areas with better infrastructure and social infrastructure," he said.
At least 24 of the 70 constituencies in the Delhi Assembly will be decided on the basis of votes by residents of the city's 'villages', and it's no surprise that, with the elections imminent, all the political parties are keen to woo voters.