EW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday gave nod to the cabinet decision to re-promulgate the controversial land ordinance for third time to ensure continuity of the present ordinance which is due to lapse on June 3.
The government had said during its cabinet meeting on Saturday that the move was necessary for maintaining continuity and providing a framework to compensate people whose land is acquired.
Meanwhile the Congress continued its attack on NDA government accusing it of grabbing land from the poor. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in a tweet on May 30 had said: “Modi ji in an amazing hurry to grab land from poor farmers at any cost with a 3rd attempt at pushing the anti farmer Land Ordinance.”
Land Acquisition ordinance was first promulgated in December last year. It was re-promulgated in March this year.
The NDA government, which had brought an amendment bill to replace the ordinance, had agreed to refer the bill to a Joint Committee of Parliament.
One of the major changes is empowering the concerned states to take steps for exemption from “Social Impact Assessment” and “Special Provisions for Safeguarding Food Security” to expedite the process of land acquisition for strategic and development activities including preparation for defence, electrification and other infrastructure projects including those under public-private-partnership where the ownership of the land continues to rest with the government. In addition acquisition for such projects is also exempted from the “Consent” provisions. Congress and opposition parties had slammed the move claiming that removal of ‘consent clause’ may trigger forcible acquisition.
The Left parties strongly condemned the re-promulgation of the controversial Land Acquisition Ordinance and demanded that it should be kept in abeyance till the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) submits its report and Parliament takes a position on the issue.
They also lashed out at the government for not being “honest and truthful” to Parliament and asked what the urgency was to reissue the ordinance when the legislation was being scrutinised by the JPC and the Prime Minister saying it was not a “life and death question” for him.
“In the light of the Prime Minister’s statement on Saturday that the new Land Acquisition Bill was not a “life and death question” for him, this ordinance be kept in abeyance till the JPC submits its report and Parliament takes a considered position on this amended land acquisition Bill,” the CPM Politburo said in a statement.
“This is not a matter of life or death for me. And neither was it the agenda of my party or the Government,” Modi had said.