Giving ‘shamlat’ land to industrialists for peanuts smacks of corruption: AAP Punjab

Chandigarh, December 4, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab, has slammed the Captain Amarinder government in the state for giving panchayat land, known as ‘shamlat’ land, in the rural pockets to its ‘favoured’ industrial unit owners for nuts, saying it should desist from doing so as the land was a collective village panchayat and it could not be disposed off without the prior approval of the respective Panchayat.

It further said that, according to the amended law, the land on which the government proposed to set up industrial units be got approved from the respective village gram panchayat, stating that before doing so, the government should get the millions of acres of land under the illegal occupation of those enjoying political patronage.

In a joint statement issued from party headquarters, leader of opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema and MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan, said that during the Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Capt Amarinder Singh, on Monday, the amendment to the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulations) Rules, 1964, was nothing but an attempt to appease the ‘favoured’ industrialists/ corporate houses, for allowing them to purchase land for a song, which smacked of widespread corruption.

Cheema said that the government should first start a concerted campaign to free millions of acres of panchayat land under the unauthorised occupation of those close to power corridor, adding that mere panchayat resolution was not suffice to dispose of the panchayat land. He said meetings of village gram sabhas should be convened to discuss the issue before the land could not be disposed of .

He further said that the Aam Aadmi Party, along with people of the state, would not allow the government to sell the panchayat land for nuts, saying that a statewide stir would be launched against the move.

Kultar Singh Sandhwan said that AAP would launch an awareness campaign in the state telling people how panchayat lands were being sold off to the ‘favoured’ few close to the ruling party, adding that the government should first start to free the illegally-occupied panchayat land from their ‘favoured’ ones enjoying their patronage. He also demanded that the benefit of the scheme be also given to the unemployed and the landless.

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