Modi Government May Revise Land Acquisition Bill Ahead of Anna Hazare's Protest

Published: 21st February 2015 09:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2015 09:27 PM   |  A+A-


In this file photo, social activist Anna Hazare. (PTI)

NEW DELHI: As anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and other farmers’ groups will converge in Delhi, ahead of the parliament session, to protest against the amendments proposed in the land acquisition bill, senior BJP leaders met in Capital to discuss its fallout.

Sources indicated that government may revise some of the amendments of the bill, when it is taken up for discussion in the House, to placate the farmers, and the opposition parties. 

The meeting held at the party office attended by BJP chief Amit Shah, senior ministers Home Minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, railways minister Suresh Prabhu, MoS (parliamentary affairs) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi among others, discussed ways to counter the onslaught of motley groups and the opposition parties who would use the occasion, during the Budget session to counter the government.

As the opposition parties are expected to come together on issue of land acquisition bill, the senior leaders are learnt to have discussed ways dispel the notion that government was harming the interests of the farming community.  Even some of the RSS bodies have also expressed their concerns over the proposed amendments, which they said were aimed to benefitting only the corporate sector.

The government had already listed it for Tuesday in the Lok Sabha. 

Sources said the government may revise some of the some changes proposed in the amendment bill. While some new provisions may be introduced, and some dropped in the bill to placate the protesters and the opposition parties. Sources said the government would engage with the protesters, while as a strategy it may revise amendments, if any, would be done during the discussion on the bill in the house.

Senior leaders discussed host of issues that are likely to come up during the Budget session. The BJP will have to try to explain to the people the reasons behind the changes being brought through the ordinances, to counter any negative publicity. The BJP’s parliamentary party may again meet on Sunday to discuss its strategy in the House.

Meanwhile, office bearers of Bhartiya Kisan Union met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and told him that farmers were upset at the amendments in the bill. “They should listen to them and makes laws more farmer friendly,” Yudhvir Singh,General secretary of BKU said.

“They asked us to make a draft of our demands, after which they would again meet us. They were positive, Singh added after meeting Rajnath Singh.

The government is wary that Hazare who had come to protest against corruption in April 2011 had turned into a nationwide movement which led to the ouster of the UPA government, so this current protests may not develop into something big.

Apart from Hazare, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party is also likely to hold protests at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on the bill.

As bank unions, even trade unions affiliated to Sangh’s organisation like Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh are planning to go on nationwide satyagraha from next week, Finance Minister appealed to them to come to the negotiating table.

Jaitley said employees of public sector banks, their unions not resort to agitation approach through bank strike, but have “bipartite negotiations in a cordial manner” to arrive at settlement.

In a statement issued here on Saturday evening, Jaitley said “...appeal to all the employees of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and their Unions and Associations not to resort to agitation approach by participating in bank strike. 

 “...participating in the proposed strike is neither desirable nor affordable in the interest of the nation. Making an another appeal to the employees of PSBs, their Unions and Associations, the Finance Minister asked them not to resort to such disruptive means, and call off the call for strike, the statement from the finance ministry said. 

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