Land Ordinance to go; Gadkari says Modi wants States to frame law

The Hindu, August 26, 2015

In the strongest indication yet that the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Ordinance, 2015, will be allowed to lapse on August 31, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told The Hindu that the government would ?wait for the report of the joint committee in Parliament? on the ordinance, which is due in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Mr. Gadkari said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had more or less decided that the States be allowed to put in place their own laws on land acquisition.

?The Congress has used its numbers in the Rajya Sabha to block the ordinance; so it was decided that the States can go ahead and frame their laws. Even during the NITI Aayog meeting, where all Chief Ministers were called to meet the Prime Minister as Team India but was boycotted by Congress Chief Ministers, Parkash Singh Badal [of Punjab] and Shivraj Singh Chouhan [Madhya Pradesh] asked why are you [Centre] getting embroiled in the political games of the Congress; we want development in our States, we will add all these features to our land acquisition laws,? he said. The Congress is blocking much-needed reforms.

Mr. Gadkari, who initiated the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, said he had ?no regrets? at having invested eight months of his government?s political capital on the ordinance only to have it lapse. ?The Congress should regret it as they will be responsible for having blocked a crucial reform,? he said.

?Especially since I only initiated the amendments after having received letters asking for them from the Congress Chief Ministers. I have letters from the then Maharashtra Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan, and the current Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, who found their own UPA[-framed] law quite unworkable,? he said.

He said he saw the Congress as being confused in its economic thought. ?After 1947, under Nehru, we chose socialism and became a rich country with poor people. Down the road, you see this Leftism survives only as a red flag and nothing more. China has even privatised defence production; so what socialism is everyone harking [back] to? We want markets with equitable distributive justice,? he said.

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