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Govt. decides to re-issue ordinance before April 5

Move finalised at meetingof CCPA

The contentious Land Acquisition Ordinance will be re-promulgated before it lapses on April 5, the Union government decided on Friday evening, even though it will mean taking on a virtually united opposition. This was underscored by the simultaneous release of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s letter to Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the subject, and the decision by the Janata Parivar parties to adopt an agitational programme against the Bill.

This decision, taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs here, coincided with Ms. Gandhi making public her letter to Mr. Gadkari, reiterating the Opposition’s objections to the Bill, terming it anti-farmer. The Minister, it may be recalled, was one of the moving spirits behind the changes made to the 2013 Land Act, who had also challenged Ms. Gandhi to a public debate on the land law.

At the Janata Parivar meeting on Friday, a programme, “Delhi se gaon tak” was chalked out for States where it has a presence – Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand. Those who attended the meeting were the Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav and K.C. Tyagi and the RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav and Prem Gupta.

All this also came a day after Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu called on President Pranab Mukherjee.

The next step now will be for Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs, to write to the Secretary General Rajya Sabha to ask him to convey to the President’s office the decision to prorogue the Upper House. Simultaneously, the Union Cabinet will officially endorse the CCPA’s decision to get the Land Ordinance re-promulgated, after which the request will be sent to the President.

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