New land acquisition law can weaken Maoists, says Ramesh

Kolkata, Oct 1 (IANS) The new land acquisition act passed by parliament will weaken the hold of the Maoist rebels if it was effectively implemented by the state governments, union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said here Tuesday.

"If the act is implemented in letter and sprit in the left-wing extremism-affected areas, the problems relating to land will come down, thereby weakening much of the ideology of the Maoist organisations," the minister told the media here.

Ramesh said the Maoist organisation thrives on two issues - land and forest.

"We earlier passed the Forest Rights Act, 2007. It was a revolutionary legislation. Had the state governments implemented it effectively, no Maoist organisations would been alive now," he claimed.

Terming as "historic" the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, Ramesh said it will come into effect either on Jan 1, 2014, or April 1, 2014.

"We are now framing the rules of the act. We will finish formulating the rules in one month's time," he said.

However, he said the success of an act depended on its implementation.

"We can pass a law. But a law is as good as it is implemented. It has to be implemented in letter and spirit by the state government," he said.

Ramesh said the implementation of the earlier Land Acquisition Act of 1894, which was "anti-democratic and anti-farmer", had triggered anger in tribal areas, which was exploited by the Maoist guerillas.


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