Land acquisition bill: We are open to suggestions: Gadkari

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Nitin GadkariUnion road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on 19 May ruled out going back on the land bill, but said the government was open to incorporating more amendments in the interest of farmers.

Government’s pointsman with other parties on the bill, Gadkari alleged that Congress was against the bill “for political reasons” as part of its agenda to spread disinformation.

“There is no question of going back. Whatever is in the interests of the nation will be done, by using force if needed,” he said.

When asked how the BJP would cobble up numbers in the Rajya Sabha for the passage of the bill, Gadkari said the government has been speaking to opposition parties to get their support in the Rajya Sabha..

To a query if the government was willing to bring in more amendments to accommodate the opposition, Gadkari said nine of them have been brought in and the government was open to “good” suggestions.

He, however, made it clear that the government was committed to pressing ahead with the legislation in Parliament irrespective of the stand of the opposition parties.

“BJD has come out in support of the land bill. We were accused of being arrogant, now we are going to everybody with folded hands. If they come, it is good; if they don’t, we will continue to move forward,” he said.

To another query on reservation expressed by Shiv Sena and Swabhiman Paksha, Gadkari said each one has his own axe to grind and used a Hindi proverb, “looking somewhere, targeting something else”.

Succumbing to opposition pressure, the government has sent the contentious bill to a joint committee of Parliament, which is scheduled to submit its report in the beginning of the monsoon session.

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