Government on Friday dismissed as “political grandstanding” Sonia Gandhi’s attack over the controversial Land Acquisition Bill and said it was “strange” that she is defending an Act over which many Chief Ministers of her own party had raised concerns.
“I think it is only a political grandstanding rather than anything else,” Commere Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here while replying to a question on Congress President’s comment on the Land bill.
Rejecting the government’s dialogue offer on the controversial bill, Gandhi today alleged that it was a mockery of the consensus-building tradition by a “myopic” Modi regime which was “bending backwards” to favour industrialists. The Congress chief demanded that UPA’s legislation be brought back in totality.
“It is very interesting and strange that when several of Congress’ own Chief Ministers have raised lot of concerns about that law which the Congress President is referring to...
“Now post that, even the Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) during a discussion on the land bill had quoted from the letter of the then Commerce Minister (Anand Sharma) saying that it might not encourage investments into this country,” Sitharaman said.
The minister said the government has brought in several amendments after taking stakeholders’ views to address the concerns.
Faced with stiff opposition on the land bill, the government had reached out to leaders of opposition parties, with Union Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari telling them that the government was willing to have a debate on all aspects of the bill which is awaiting clearance in the Rajya Sabha.
Government had promulgated Ordinance on land acquisition on December 31 last year. A bill to replace the Ordinance was brought to Parliament in Budget session which started on February 23.
While the bill, providing for amending the Act of 2013, cleared Lok Sabha earlier this month, it got stuck in Rajya Sabha with entire opposition uniting in the House where the ruling NDA is in a minority.
Since then the Budget session has gone into recess till April 20 and for re-promulgating the Ordinance, Parliament has to be prorogued.