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Land Bill: Hazare challenges Modi to an open debate

Anna Hazare  

Despite uncertainty looming over his proposed foot-march from Wardha to Delhi in protest against the Land ordinance bill, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare kept up his bellicosity over the Bill by calling for an open debate with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the controversial clauses of the proposed legislation.

“Let people watch this debate and see the facts for themselves,” Mr. Hazare told reporters on Thursday speaking from his home in Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. 

In a retort to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari’s ‘willingness’ to debate the bill with those opposed to it, the septuagenarian activist quipped: “Mr. Gadkari’s homework is weak.”

Mr. Gadkari had earlier claimed that Opposition parties were merely censuring the Land Bill, which is yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha, for political reasons. He had accordingly invited leaders of all major parties as well as Mr. Hazare for an open debate on any platform to iron out the fine points in the contentious bill.

While dubbing Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s opposition to the bill as “political gimmickry”, Mr. Hazare had earlier said if the controversial land bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, he would kickstart a ‘civil disobedience’ movement. 

Last month, he had held a two-day protest of disgruntled farmers opposing the bill at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar wherein he attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the hastily passed ordinance on the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 Bill as an “anti-farmer gesture that pandered to the interest of the corporate lobby.”

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:29:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/land-bill-hazare-challenges-modi-to-an-open-debate/article7036159.ece

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