NAGPUR: Union Minister for Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said here today that the Congress has been exposed for its "double standard" on the Land Aquisition Bill and for taking an "anti-farmer" stand.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his 'Man ki Baat' radio speech that the government will not re-promulgate the Ordinance on Land Acquisition, allowing it to expire tomorrow.
Modi said that the Congress not only opposed the bill, but also showed that it is against farmers' interests, Gadkari said at a press conference here this evening.
Gadkari, who has advocated the Land Bill during several media interactions across the country, said that the government has declared its readiness to incorporate any suggestion in the bill to benefit farmers.
However, since the ordinance is being allowed to lapse tomorrow, the government has notified rules which will come into effect from today to address this "incomplete work," he said.
He said that since it is on the concurrent list, state governments are free to enact the law, adding, that during a NITI Aayog meeting, several chief ministers had agreed but chief ministers of Congress-ruled states had opposed it.
Replying to a question, he denied that the BJP-led government is on the backfoot.
He also refuted Congress president Sonia Gandhi's charges made at a rally in Patna that the BJP-led government is on the backfoot due to constant Opposition from the Congress and other like-minded Opposition parties.
"The Modi government bowed out on the Land Bill due to people's pressure against the anti-farmer bill," Sonia Gandhi had said at a rally in Patna recently.