Congress not to support
Land Acquisition Act
January 01, 2015
The Congress on
Wednesday made it clear that there was no question of supporting
the amendments proposed by the government to the Right to Fair
Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Pointing out that
the BJP had ?unequivocally supported? the enactment of the Act
just a year-and-a-half ago when the UPA government steered it
through Parliament after three years of consultations, Congress
spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the ordinance being promulgated
would in various ways bring back the 1894 law which had been
found wanting by the entire political class and the Supreme
resembles the 1894 land acquisition law enacted by the British
and would be akin to Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark,? Mr.
Singhvi said in a detailed briefing on the party?s position on
the ordinance. The ordinance, according to the Congress, relaxes
the requirements of consent and social impact assessment survey
for five specified areas ? thereby bringing back coercion in
land acquisition ? and eases acquisition of multi-crop land.
Asked about the
government?s claims that several Congress Chief Ministers too
had wanted changes in the Act, Mr. Singhvi countered: ?Let them
tell us which person said what. There is a lot of difference
between what they say and what is being made out. Tweaking the
law in public interest to make it more implementable is one
thing, but this ordinance is proposing far more substantive
changes and taking us back to 1894.?
As to whether the
Congress had a right to criticise the Modi government for
promulgating ordinances, Mr. Singhvi said the UPA had
promulgated 25 ordinances in five years between 2009 and 2014.
?This government has already promulgated eight ordinances in
seven months; one of them just to facilitate the appointment of
Also, he claimed
that the ordinances promulgated by the Congress were on routine
matters that required intervention because of expiry of a
deadline and the only significant ordinance was the one
pertaining to the Food Security Bill. This, he added, was in
contrast to the ordinances brought by the Modi government as
most of them pertain to vital issues of governance.
?Ordinance is not
meant to be the default mode of legislation,? he said.
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