Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday slammed the BJP government in Karnataka for its decision to allow non-agriculturists to purchase agricultural land in the state.
The Karnataka government on Thursday decided to repeal certain provisions of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act to allow non-agriculturists to purchase agricultural land and removed the ceiling on income from non-agriculture sources. This move will benefit high-salaried professionals in Bengaluru, particularly in the Information Technology sector, to buy land in Karnataka. Many such IT professionals had turned to buying land in other states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh due to the inflexible laws in Karnataka, Economic Times reported.
The previous Siddaramaiah government in 2015 had amended the Karnataka Land Reforms Act and increased the income limit from non-agricultural sources to purchase farmland, from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.
This was done by the Siddaramaiah government to prevent the misuse of agricultural land.
Siddaramaiah on Friday convened a meeting with senior Congress party leaders to deliberate on the consequences of the decision taken by the government.
"The BJP government in the state has gone ahead to make provision that only the 'haves' should own agricultural land.
The government wants to introduce some amendments to the KLRA," said Siddaramaiah.
He said former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and former Chief Minister D Devaraj Urs had made provision that those who till should own the land but now the BJP government wants only "the haves to own the land."
Siddaramaiah expressed his apprehension that the amendment will pave way for land mafias and realtors to rule the roost as they will develop land banks.
It will eventually spell doom for the marginal farmers who will be reduced to labourers, he added.