Continuing with the deadlock will hurt growth prospects.
The opposition unity on stopping the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from getting the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act amendments passed in the Rajya Sabha, or even allowing the re-promulgation of the ordinance issued earlier, holds worrying signals for a sustained growth recovery.
As the Land Act ordinance is set to lapse on April 5, and Parliament needs to be prorogued for re-issuing it, the government is set to approach the President for this.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are slated to take part in a march with leaders of ten parties from Parliament House to President House to submit a memorandum against the new land bill passed by the Lok Sabha last week and will obviously apprise him of their joint effort to stop the government from getting it passed in the Rajya Sabha.
Clearly, for all practical purposes, passage of the bill in the upper house in the current session, or even later, is looking difficult.
Though the NDA government in all probability will succeed in getting the ordinance re-promulgated now, and also in future, to keep the process alive with the norms being in force; breaking the deadlock over the passage of the bill in Parliament, no doubt, will remain the biggest challenge for the NDA government.
Prime minister Narendra Modi has decided to take the battle to the farmer’s court, and rightly so, as the bill has been touted as anti-farmer by the opposition – to explain how it will benefit them and not getting the changes made will act against their interests.
There can’t be two opinions on if land acquisition for creating rural infrastructure or urbanization remains stuck the way it is right now, farmers will be one of the biggest losers.
The opposition parties, especially Congress, must also learn from the Lok Sabha election results last year in which the Congress party got reduced to the historic low numbers in the lower house — the National Food Security Act or the LARR Act could not save them from the drubbing.
If the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)/NDA appears to be on a sticky wicket on the land bill, those opposing it must keep in mind there are chances they will again end up on the losing side if people feel they have not learnt lessons from the past by trying to scuttle the growth prospects.