Government today said there is "no question of going back" on any of the ordinances including on land acquisition, but it will be open to suggestions...
Government today said there is “no question of going back” on any of the ordinances including on land acquisition, but it will be open to suggestions when the bills are taken up after the Budget and accused the Congress of adopting “double standards” on the issue.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu voiced confidence that Government will encounter no problem in pushing the measures and that all “friends, allies and supporting parties” will be on board.
“There is no question of going back on any of the ordinances. Whether it is the land ordinance, whether it is coal ordinance, whether it is the mines and mineral ordinance or whether it is e-rickshaw ordinance. All these ordinances will be pursued and then we want the Parliament to debate, discuss and decide,” Naidu told reporters outside Parliament.
He said that these will be taken up when the Budget is over and the timing will be decided by the Business Advisory Committee.
Naidu said that the government as it declared yesterday, is “open for meaningful suggestions” but stressed “as far as the main purpose of the bill is concerned, Government intends to go ahead with the bill (to replace land ordinance).”
“And I can also tell you one thing. We are in talk with all our friends, allies and supporting parties and we are confident all of them will be on board. There will not be any problems whatsoever. Certain apprehensions have been created.
“Those apprehensions are being addressed to and we have already made it clear that well-meaning suggestions if any, they will be taken under consideration when we take up the bill in Parliament,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.
Accusing Congress of practising “double standards” on the issue, he said that a “misinformation campaign” is being carried out on the issue.
Union Minister Radhamohan Singh, speaking separately, said that the Congress agitation against land ordinance was “an agitation by defeated persons for their survival” and not to protect the interests of farmers.
Rejecting the contention that the land ordinance is against the interests of farmers, the Agriculture Minister told PTI that the pace of development of villages and the progress of farmers would have stopped had Narendra Modi government not brought out the ordinance.
He said that “farmers will desert these people soon”.
“The day farmers come to know of their reality, they will desert such people. Farmers will not participate in such agitations. They are not participating. You can befool some people for some time but not all the people all the time.
“The leaders of Congress, who are agitating in the streets should discuss the issue in Parliament,” he said.
Seeking to turn the table on Congress on its allegation that the government by bringing the ordinance has restored the 1894 Act brought by the Britishers, the minister said that Congress should remember the Act continued in independent India for around 60 years under its rule.
Arguing in support of doing away with the consent clause for rural and social infrastructure projects, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had yesterday said that irrigation projects are behind 80 per cent of the land acquisition. “Should such developmental works be hostage to the consent of 70 per cent land owners,” he said.
Taking the argument further, Singh said, “Rural roads, rural electrification and education infrastructure play a major role in the development of villages. Had the ordinance not come, the development of villages would have been halted.
“Similarly villagers will get rural market if the industrial corridor comes up there. For all these things, land is required,” the minister said.
Claiming that Narendra Modi government is “committed to the development of farmers and villages,” he said that farmers will be strengthened if villages are empowered”.
Alleging that there is a massive disinformation campaign going on against the land acquisition ordinance and proposed bill, Naidu said, “We are dispelling all those wrong notions. The bill is totally in the interest of the country, in the interest of the farmers and we are committed to the welfare of farmers.”
Attacking Congress for adopting “double standards”, Naidu recalled that Chief Ministers from that party had written letters to Centre expressing reservations against the UPA’s land law.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also referred to a letter written by UPA’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma in May 2012, which was mentioned by Leader of House in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley in the House today, wherein he had flagged serious concerns raised by the industry on the UPA land law.
“He had suggested that the present bill, which the Congress party had proposed that time, will hamper the progress, will hurt the growth and will hurt infrastructure and what not. He had made all those things clear and he had just now acknowledged it also. Then their Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had also written a letter to the then Rural Development Minister.
“Then the Congress government in Haryana and Maharashtra had reduced the compensation being paid to farmers from four times to two times and 2.2 times. That being the reality, how can they dub us anti-farmers,” Naidu wondered.
Calling the Congress agitation at Jantar Mantar a “total flop”, he said that no farmer attended that programme.
“There was no farmer. It was a total flop. No farmers were there. Only leaders of the Congress party, who have nothing to with farming community were present there. This speaks of hollowness of their thinking.
“Let them give constructive suggestions in view of the experience, take feedback from respective state units and their Chief Ministers, who have voiced their concerns at different provisions of the state and then let them come out with constructive suggestions,” Naidu said