Chandigarh: Hours before the commencement of the budget session, Haryana Congress workers today staged a demonstration here against the Centre’s controversial amendments to the Land Acquisition Act. Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, along with Haryana Pradesh Congress committee president Ashok Tanwar and some party MLAs, led a march from the party headquarters to the assembly in a bid to disrupt the session.
However, they were stopped by police mid-way as prohibitory orders were in place. Water canons were also used on Congress protesters following which many of them courted arrest, police said, adding no one was injured in the incident.
Meanwhile, several barricades were put in place on the road leading to the state assembly. The Congress protest was on the issue of amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, urea shortage, White Paper on the state’s finances and non-implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report.
The protesters described the land bill as “draconian” and shouted slogans over “acute” fertiliser shortage and a host of other issues. Congress Legislature party leader Kiran Choudhry said the state government had completely failed to fulfil its promises made before the assembly elections last year.
While the UPA’s Act of 2013 stated that land can be acquired for private companies, the NDA ordinance and the subsequent bill introduced on February 26 in Lok Sabha replaced the term ‘private company’ with ‘private entity’ hich has faced criticism from political parties, including BJP’s ally Shiv Sena.