HYDERABAD: Even as the Opposition led by the Congress flatly rejecting the amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill dubbing it as the ‘anti-farmer’, Union parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu asserted that the proposed move would bring developmental fruits to farmers.
Speaking to newsmen here on Monday, the minister said the Union government wanted a national debate on the issue to elicit the views of all stakeholders to further improve the legislation.
Stating that the government was not standing on ‘false prestige,’ he pointed out that it had accepted nine-amendments suggested by the Opposition.
“Land is a state subject. It is the discretion of the state governments whether or not to follow the new Act, if passed, or adhere to old provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. So there is no problem,” he said.
On the widespread protests following government’s move to amend the existing Act, he said,”Some are misled. Some are being misled. So there should not be opposition for the sake of opposing everything.”
With the Ordinance on the Land Bill expiring on April 6, if not replaced by Act, he said the government would explore other options to promulgate the changes. However, he did not spell out the specific moves being considered by the government.
“Options and strategies are not revealed. But there are Constitutional provisions and precedents set by the previous regimes, we will explore them,” he pointed out.
Based on a research report, he said the Parliament had clocked 121 per cent productivity in the first leg of the current budget session - the highest in the last decade. “Despite disruptions from Opposition benches, this could be achieved. In the session that went by six Ordinances were replaced by five Acts,” he pointed out.
Venkaiah Naidu took exception to Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s opinion that the non-Congress and non-BJP parties had compromised their interests by supporting the BJP in passing Coal and Mines Bills.
“Such comments are highly objectionable to question the wisdom of the political parties,” he lamented.