New land acquisition bill to be tabled in Parliament on Monday
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New Delhi: The government is set to table the controversial land acquisition amendment bill in Parliament on Monday, two days after prime minister Narendra Modi urged opposition parties to help improve the bill by suggesting changes.
Rural development minister Birender Singh is expected to present the bill in the face of stiff challenge from opposition parties led by the Congress, as they have told the government it will oppose the bill in both houses of Parliament.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have opened communication channels with opposition parties and the government is hopeful that it will be able to push through its reform agenda in the ongoing budget session of Parliament.
“Four senior ministers are talking to opposition parties including Congress to convince them to give recommendations on the bill and let it be passed in Parliament. The government is aware that it doesn’t have the required numbers in Rajya Sabha so support of opposition parties will be crucial,” said a leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government who declined to be named.
The ruling alliance has just 57 out of 245 members of Parliament (MPs) in Rajya Sabha.
The Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Biju Janata Dal, Swabhimani Paksha, Communist Party of India and Trinamool Congress have jointly moved a resolution in Parliament opposing the bill that seeks changes to the land acquisition law.
“That this House disapproves of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance,” the resolution given to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan states.
“We have suggested some recommendations,” a leader of the party said, requesting anonymity.
“If the government agrees to include them, the BJD will support the government to pass the bill.”
Apart from opposition parties, the bill is also opposed by some NDA partners such as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Paksha, and ministers are in talks with them ahead of the vote. Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal recently met Modi to raise his concerns about the bill.
While the government says it is willing to listen to the demands and suggestions of all political parties who have opposed the bill, it doesn’t want its reform agenda to face a setback on the floor of the house.
To push its reform agenda, BJP ministers have also started talking to the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK), Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).