Government in a fix as Land bill unites all the opposition parties

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M Mallikarjun Kharge | 72 | Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha
M Mallikarjun Kharge | 72 |
Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha

Amidst the tug of war between Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government and its prime opposition Congress in the controversial Land Acquisition Bill, Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi said the bill has united all the opposition parties. “Will you be able to acquire land from a golf course in Delhi?” Trivedi asked during the discussion in Lok Sabha.

Pointing at the BJP government,  Trivedi said, “I thank the BJP for bringing this bill, because the bill has united the entire opposition.” He also said that his party opposes the bill. “The very basis of democracy is being subverted,”  Trivedi added.

The former prime minister and JD (S) MP Hassan Deve Gowda said JD (S) will oppose the land acquisition bill if not amended. He said the poor people cannot be allowed to suffer and legislation must ensure that farmers are not ruined. He also warns that bureaucrats could misuse their power.

Looking for the support of other political parties, the Modi led government moved nine amendments in its Land Acquistion Bill which will be voted . This includes an exemption to social infrastructure projects in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the concerned Minister should explain some provisions of the Bill before a discussion could be initiated. The Bill was moved for consideration and passing by rural development minister Birender Singh. Singh, however, said he would speak only when he replies to the debate. The Opposition MPs also expressed strong reservations against exempting land acquisition by private hospitals and private educational institutions.

Following the amendment, the government has won the support of key allies Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal, which had so far been non-committal on whether they would vote in favour of its land reforms in the Lok Sabha . BJP leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and met other leaders of the BJP-led NDA to secure their support before the vote, expected in the evening.

Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan said the BJP government has agreed to rework certain provisions of this bill and it is a good sign. “My party stands assured that all stake holders’ interest will be safeguarded” Mr Paswan said, adding, “My party fully supports the BJP government’s land bill”.

Favoring on the land bill, Dilip Singh Bhuria of BJP said it is being wrongly publicized that the BJP government is working only for the corporate. “Want to assure that every one’s concern is being taken care of”, he said. “Narendra Modi government is working for poorest of the poor and farmers.”

However, MIM and JMM opposed the bill. Asaduddin Owaisi of MIM said the government amendments are extra-constitutional and it will not stand the test of time. This bill is to exploit the people of India and pro-corporate, Owaisi added. Vijay Kumar Hansdak of JMM takes on the government, he said the bill will ruin tribals, especially those in Jharkhand. He said the bill is a conspiracy against tribals.

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