The simmering discontent among the BJP leaders and legislators in Jharkhand over amendment in two land acts by the Raghubar Das government has come to the fore yet again. Former BJP state President and legislator Tala Marandi has said that the amendment was against the sentiments of the tribal people. The discontent was also aired when BJP national General Secretary Ram Madhav interacted with the party leaders and legislators in Ranchi on Saturday. The party’s Core Committee members and legislators demanded withdrawal of the amendment in two land acts – Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act.
Madhav, presently on a three-day visit to Jharkhand, is interacting with the party leaders in different districts. On Saturday, he discussed the government’s functioning and party’s position on the two land acts in Ranchi. He interacted with the BJP leaders in Seraikela-Kharsawa district the next day. He is scheduled to meet the party leaders in Khunti on Monday. Both Seraikela-Kharsawa and Khunti are tribal dominated districts.
During the interaction, the party leaders openly aired their anguish over functioning of the state government and amendment in the two land acts. A BJP leader told IANS that they demanded withdrawal of the amendment in the two land acts and also informed Madhav that the party leaders have been sidelined by the government.
The BJP’s alliance partner, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), is also opposing the amendment in the two land acts along with the opposition parties. The protest over the amendment is going on a regular basis in the state. The Jharkhand government had passed the amendment in the two land acts in the Winter Session in December 2016.
After the amendment, the state government can acquire land for industries, infrastructure and other works. Agriculture land can be used for non-agriculture purposes. The amendment passed by the state government is pending before Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu. According to BJP leaders, the amendment has sent a wrong signal among the tribal community that constitutes 27 per cent of the state population. The BJP got majority of reserved tribal seats in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, the BJP won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats and 37 of the 81 assembly seats.