Nagpur: On the 64th anniversary of social reformer Vinoba Bhave’s ‘Bhoodan (land gift) movement’, a BJP MLA today claimed that about 23 lakh acres of land acquired during the movement is yet to be distributed among the landless villagers and farmers. Nearly 47 lakh acres of land was acquired through donations and other means of services during the movement, which began on April 18, 1951 and continued for the next 14 years, BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh said.
Deshmukh has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take cognisance of the matter and expedite the process of land distribution. “At a time when the opposition is politicising the Land Bill issue, it is in the favour of farmers that the poor landless get benefit of the Bhoodan movement,” the BJP MLA wrote in the letter.
According to official data obtained by Deshmukh, the central government after introducing the Land Ceiling Act, in its first round by December 1970, had acquired a total of 25.64 lakh acres of the 47 lakh acres. From the acquired land, 11.78 lakh acres were redistributed to the needy by the government across the country.
On the other hand, 12.16 lakh acres secured through bhoodan was handed over to scores of landless people, he said. Deshmukh claimed that till date, 23 lakh acres of bhoodan land is yet to be distributed, of which 45,000 acres is in Maharashtra. April 18 marks the 64th year of the commencement of ‘Bhoodan movement’. The movement had evoked huge response, mainly in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.