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Centre makes it clear: no going back on legislation

The Union government is determined to push its version of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill through, but is willing to consider any “well-meaning suggestions” from the Opposition on it, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said here on Wednesday.

The land ordinance may be re-promulgated before April 5, when it lapses. However, no decision has been taken yet on this or any possible changes. “We still have time to take a final view,” he told The Hindu .

The Minister, however, stressed, “There is no question of going back on the Land Bill. We are very keen on pursuing it.”

Speaking to presspersons earlier in the day, Mr. Naidu dismissed as “speculation” reports suggesting that the government may allow the ordinance to lapse.

“I have seen in certain quarters today that the land acquisition ordinance may be allowed to lapse. These are speculation,” he said. “Whatever is needed to be done will be done by the government at an appropriate time.”

This came a day after a top-level meeting at the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he conferred with members of his core group — senior Cabinet colleagues and party president Amit Shah — on the controversial Bill.

The Bill was, however, not on the Union Cabinet’s agenda at its meeting here on Wednesday evening. Mr. Naidu and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the Cabinet would take a final decision on the Bill — changes, if any, and the question of re-promulgation — in due course.

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