Amid stiff opposition to government’s move to amend land acquisition Act, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made it clear that there was no going back.
The BJP was, at the same time, preparing for discussions with NDA partners to make the legislation more “effective” and “farmer-friendly”.
At the meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party here, Modi said the bill will benefit farmers and that the amendments brought by his government were based on suggestions and demands made by Congress-ruled states and their chief ministers. He asked party MPs to “bust the myths” propagated by Opposition parties on it, sources said quoting the Prime Minister.
To make the land ordinance bill more effective in favour of farmers, the BJP and NDA leaders will meet today evening to discuss and work out means to further improve it.
“It was reiterated at the Parliamentary Party that we are for the welfare of farmers and every step that this government will take will be for the welfare of farmers, for the welfare of the poor and the downtrodden,” Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters after the meeting.
The sources said the Prime Minister made it clear that the BJP stood for the welfare of farmers and was committed to them.
He told the MPs to remove the “myths” allegedly propagated by opposition parties as the proposed bill was good for the country and farmers would benefit from it.
The sources added that the Prime Minister told MPs that there was need to correct the “wrong-doings” of the previous governments, while noting that BJP can never take an “anti-farmer” stand on the bill.
“A meeting of Parliamentarians of NDA, including those of the party, will be held to deliberate on issues on how to make the land acquisition bill more effective so as to benefit the farmers, the poor and the downtrodden. For this, a discussion will take place this evening between MPs and concerned Ministers of these departments,” Rudy said.
Rudy said Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also gave their presentations on coal block allocations and the direct cash transfer scheme.
Goyal said that government had benefitted to the extent of Rs 1.2 lakh crore by auctioning of coal blocks and a major chunk of the money will go to states where coal blocks are located.
“It is going to be a major support to all those states,” Rudy said quoting Goyal at the meeting.
On the ‘Pehel’ scheme for cash transfer to LPG consumers, Pradhan said it was the largest cash subsidy scheme that benefits over 10 crore families, which has never been done anywhere in the world.
Quoting the Oil Minister, Rudy said he termed it as the “most outstanding” scheme of the government.
Rudy said Goyal told the meeting that the “arbitrariness and the corruption” in the coal block allocation during the UPA government stands exposed now.
He said the Prime Minister did suggest that the money coming from the auction of coal blocks should go to the states where coal blocks are located and this would be a major boost to these state.
“The states would benefit financially through the coal block auctions,” he said.