Land Ordinance National

Modi govt. hard at work to change perceptions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged his party colleagues to explain to their constituents why the government wanted to amend the Land Acquisition Act that had been approved during UPA-II. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged his party colleagues to explain to their constituents why the government wanted to amend the Land Acquisition Act that had been approved during UPA-II. Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

Government acccuses Opposition of creating confusion

The Modi government sent out conflicting signals on whether it would blink on the land ordinance, even as ally Lok Janshakti Party joined two other NDA partners, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena, to oppose it in its present form.

With a united opposition rejecting the controversial draft legislation, and perception having gained ground that the government’s proposed changes are anti-poor, pro-rich, harried parliamentary managers were hard at work to try and change the optics.

On Wednesday, the government wheeled out Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari — who held the rural development portfolio before the current incumbent, Chaudhury Birender Singh and, most important, is the architect of the land ordinance – to defend it.

Taking the Opposition on frontally, he said, “Having failed to convince people, you are creating confusion… This is not a political subject.” The Haryana and Maharashtra governments under Congress rule, he continued, gave less compensation than had been proposed, while the parties ruling Assam, Tripura and West Bengal had taken a different position on land acquisition earlier. To a question on objections from RSS affiliates, Mr. Gadkari said they would have a “dialogue” with them.

This came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged party colleagues at a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting to explain to their constituents why the government wanted to amend the Land Acquisition Act that had been approved during UPA Two.

BJP sources indicated that Mr. Modi was loath to make changes in its Land Bill as they were intended to send a signal to the corporates that the government wanted to create a positive environment for investment by removing the impediments that are currently delaying projects that include doing away with provisions on social impact and consent.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 1:31:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-govt-hard-at-work-to-change-perceptions/article6933769.ece

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