Slamming Congress for targeting the NDA government on the land Bill issue, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the opposition party should think of what it did when it was in power “before criticising anything”.
Congress may be thinking it is stalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but it is actually the country’s progress which the opposition party is stalling through its stand on the land Bill, the Parliamentary Affairs minister said.
He also took a dig at Congress over its plan to mark its “victory” over the land Ordinance issue with a rally after the Centre recently decided against repromulgating the same, asking whether the opposition party was commemorating the fall in its Lok Sabha tally to 44 seats.
“It is funny that previous rulers who looted lakhs of acres from farmers by forcefully taking away their lands for SEZs and real estate businessmen without paying adequate compensation now criticise the Modi government. They also announced they will hold a protest in Delhi tomorrow.
“Before criticising anything, it would be better if Congress leaders thought about what they did during their own rule,” Naidu told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
Previous Congress governments “handed” over lakhs of acres of farmers’ land to SEZs and realtors in states like Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and undivided Andhra Pradesh, he alleged.
“Congress will have to answer this; 79,000 acres only in Haryana. Similarly in Karnataka, Maharashtra and undivided Andhra Pradesh,” Naidu said.
“They (Congress) claim victory. The fall of tally from 440 to 44 seats, is it the victory? Are you doing a rally for that?” he asked.
The Modi government sought to bring changes in the land acquisition Act only after holding consultations with state governments, he said, claiming that Congress, too, had favoured amendments.
The Centre did not re-promulgate the land Ordinance and decided to wait till a Joint Committee of Parliament submits its report on the Bill.
They think that they are stalling Modi, but they are actually stalling the country’s progress, he charged even as he cited a survey that 87 per cent people are happy with the prime minister’s leadership.
Keeping up the attack on Congress, Naidu said the party should first explain why it acquired land under the Act made during British rule and did not give four-fold more compensation.
Meanwhile, deprecating the “cheap criticism” directed at him by some AP Congress leaders over the issue of special status for the state, he asked why the UPA government had not included the special status aspect in the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act.
The promise of special status was made to Seemandhra (new Andhra Pradesh) by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the floor of Parliament during the state’s bifurcation last year.