Land bill to be opposed inside, outside Parl: Cong

RSTV Bureau

Jairam_landTraining guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress on Tuesday discounted his contention that UPA government had excluded 13 Acts from the land bill which NDA has included in the amended version, and vowed to oppose the present format both inside Parliament and outside.

“I read in newspapers that the Prime Minister said somewhere that UPA had kept 13 Acts out of the ambit of the land bill and we (NDA) are including these in the new bill… this is hundred per cent wrong,” senior Congress leader and former Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh told in Lucknow.

“The Prime Minister has not done any favour, he has only done what had been said in the law passed by Parliament in 2013,” he said.

“In politics there is a strategy that if you continue to tell a lie, there are chances that it would someday be taken as truth,” Ramesh said, adding that the 2013 legislation clearly states that amendment in the 13 Acts was mandatory before December 31, 2014, so that compensation could be hiked four times and whichever party had come to power would have had to do the same.

The 13 Acts mentioned by Ramesh include Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act 1957, the National Highways Act 1956, Land Acquisition (Mines) Act 1885, Atomic Energy Act 1962, the Indian Tramways Act 1886, the Railways Act 1989, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 and the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act 1978.

Elaborating, Ramesh said that the 2013 Act had a provision that land, if not acquired within five years of the deal, will be returned to farmers but in the latest format this time limit has been extended to an indefinite period.

Similarly, according to the 2013 Act, farmers whose land was acquired under the 1894 Act had the scope of getting four times compensation but this has been done away with in the new format, he said.

Demanding that the 2013 Act be brought in force, Ramesh said that opposition to the present format will continue both inside Parliament and outside.

“It is good that SP, BSP, CPI-M, CPI ,JD-U and other parties are with us on this issue…we are not alone…even alliance partners of the NDA like Shiv Sena have opposed the amendments,” he said.