THE BJP government of Uttarakhand has returned the agriculture land of six villages in Dehradun, which was acquired by the previous Congress government despite strong opposition from the villagers. The villagers had been agitating for this land for more than one year. Announcing the decision of rolling back the land acquisition Chief Minister Shri B.C. Khanduri said he had merely fulfilled his duty. Speaking at a function organised by the Bhoomi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti to felicitate him for this courageous decision, he emphasised that the government was committed to the public interest and would accord top priority to taking decisions in that context. He added that he was happy to see that so many people had benefited from the decision to free the land of six villages in Dehradun from acquisition. The Samiti president Shri Uday Singh Kalka announced to call off the agitation as the notification on the issue had been issued by the government.
Shri Khanduri reminded the people that it was a difficult issue and there were many legal and technical hurdles in releasing the land from acquisition. This was the reason why the decision to free the land took so much time. A proper way had to be worked out and because of the BJP'scommitment to free the land, the matter could be resolved. He reminded the gathering that former Chief Minister Shri Nityanand Swami deserved greater credit than him because he had lent active support to the agitation by launching an indefinite fast to demand rollback of acquisition. He also recalled that he was constantly nagged by party leaders, the Bhoomi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti leaders and the media about the issue. But even then the decision took a long time only because of the hurdles.
He said in opposing the rollback of acquisition, the bureaucrats were probably thinking of the government interest, while the political will was in favour of the public. He asserted that to ensure public interest was the primary duty of politicians and that of the government too. He added that as a politician, he could also have chosen the populist way of announcing grants and pushing the state further into a debt trap, but it was not what the people had voted for.
Former Chief Minister Shri Nityanand Swami gave a brief account of the acquisition of 30 villages land by the previous Congress government and the agitation started by the people against it. MLAs Shri Ganesh Joshi, Shri Premchand Aggarwal and Shri Rajkumar, BJP leaders Shri Vinod Goyal, Shri Vinod Chamoli, Shri Ravindra Jugran and Smt Sushila Baloni were also present on the occasion.