Land Bill: you can count on Congress, Sonia tells Anna

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:31 pm IST

Published - March 18, 2015 08:08 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

After leading members of 14 political parties in a march against the land acquisition bill on Tuesday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to social activist Anna Hazare assuring him that her party would remain steadfast in its >struggle against the anti-farmer draft legislation .

Ms. Gandhi was in effect replying to a letter received from Anna Hazare on March 14 in which he articulated his apprehensions about The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

In her reply – written on Tuesday – she mentioned the march to Rashtrapati Bhavan by 14 parties earlier in the day to seek the President’s intervention in ensuring that the Government does not go ahead with the amendments. Agreeing with Anna Hazare that the NDA’s Bill and amendments are anti-farmer, she assured him that the Congress party would continue to oppose the draft legislation at every forum available.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week and awaits Rajya Sabha approval. With the >Opposition succeeding in building a perception that the Bill is anti-farmer – even after some of the criticism was taken on board through official amendments before it was put to vote in the Lok Sabha – the Government appears to have decided to go slow on it for now.

As of now, the Bill is unlikely to be put up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha – where the Government is in a minority -- this session for fear of the Opposition pressing for referring it to a Joint Select Committee. Referring to the `Narendra Modi Kisan Virodhi’ slogan raised at Tuesday’s March, Congress spokesman Rajiv Gowda said the Government was evidently aware that the perception of the Bill being anti-farmer was gaining ground and sending ministers across the country to canvas support for it.

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