The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday blamed the 1984 Land Acquisition Act for the process followed by the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government to acquire 1,000 acres in Singur in 2006, reported The Indian Express. This comes two days after the Supreme Court set aside the acquisition of land done to facilitate a Nano factory by Tata Motors. The party admitted that "the method adopted was not correct and put the Left in entire country in embarrassment".
The CPM Politburo said, “However, the acquisition process had to be undertaken under the 1894 Land Acquisition Act, which was the only legal instrument available at that time. This was an Act which did not protect the interests of the farmers adequately." It said the party has acknowledged in its Central Committee review report of the 2011 assembly elections that ‘the administrative and political mistakes in this regard proved costly’.
According to the party, it has been demanding for long that the “anachronistic law” be replaced to provide "adequate security" to farmers, but it was only in 2013 that the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act was adopted by Parliament, reported The Hindu. Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, the CPM said “The current BJP-led central government, on the contrary, sought to dilute this Act through ordinances and continues to undermine this Act. The CPI[M] shall oppose all efforts to dilute this Act and is opposed to such dilution being currently undertaken by many State governments.”
In a statement, the Left party said that when the Mamata Banerjee government introduced a Bill in the state Assembly to return land to those who had refused to take the compensation after the project was scrapped, the CPM held that the land should be returned to all the erstwhile owners.