Vedanta's mining project at Niyamgiri hills illegal: Rahul

"What was going on there is illegal. It is not a issue of corporate versus tribals. The real issue is illegal mining. It is criminal," Gandhi said in reply to a question at a press conference here.

Gandhi, while addressing a tribal rally at Lanjjigarh in the Niyamgiri hills on August 26 had said that the denial of environmental clearance to the London-listed group's bauxite mining project, was a victory for the tribals who had opposed it.

He had also referred to his 2008 remark that he was their 'sipahi' in Delhi. "I have a soft corner for all Indians. But there are some Indians who do not get the same kind of benefits as others do," he said at the press conference here when asked about his views on land acquisition.

Gandhi said, "We cannot allow transfer of land from poor to rich with no benefits going to the poor."

He said, "You need to acquire land for development of roads and railways. It is a fact. Harayana has a new land acquisition policy which is helpful for the poor. But in UP people had to give away land for Rs 400 per decimal which is worth thousands".
Rahul said, "We are working on a new land acquisition bill where people get to share the benefits."

Asked about rising prices of essential commodities, he said that prices were in fact going down and inflation had decreased to 8.5 per cent.

"It will be go down further. The monsoons have also been good. Things are looking up."

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