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India Set To Sign Agreement With Landless Poor
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-19906375
Source Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Country: India
Created: Oct 11, 2012

India's government is expected to reach an agreement with a group of landless poor who are marching to the capital, Delhi.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh is expected to meet the protesters in Uttar Pradesh state and sign an agreement on land reforms.

The march began last week in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

The protesters plan to cover the distance of about 350km (217 miles) to reach Delhi by the end of October.

Reports say Mr Ramesh is travelling to the city of Agra on Thursday to meet the protesters and sign an agreement outlining the government's plans to push land reform.

"The nation will get happy news from the city of Taj Mahal," Mr Ramesh told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the government was taking a "constructive view" of the demands of the protesters.

The protesters, mostly tribespeople and landless labourers, insist that each of them must be given a piece of land.

The participants in the Jan Satyagraha [People's Movement] march say welfare programmes like the rural jobs for work scheme are no solution to poverty.

They say only land and sustainable livelihood generation can achieve real poverty reduction and lift tens of millions out of poverty.

Land has become a huge political issue in India. The government needs land for industry or infrastructure projects, but farmers and tribespeople say that cannot happen at their expense.
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