Govt to move bill to amend Land Acquisition Act: PM to RLD

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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, May 10: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (May 10) assured a delegation of Rashtriya Lok Dal leaders that Government will move the crucial bill to amend the Land Acquisition Act in the coming session of Parliament, its leader Ajit Singh said.

After a half-an-hour long meeting with the Prime Minister, the RLD chief said that he apprised the former about the violence over land acquisition in Noida and reminded him about his commitment to pass the bill "I met the Prime Minister regarding the Land Acquisition bill and reminded him that he had made a promise in October last year itself regarding the passage of the bill.

Rahul Gandhi had also met him and urged for passing the bill.

"The Prime Minister had then said that he would ensure that the bill be passed as soon as possible. But two Parliament sessions passed since then. I reminded him about his commitment. The Prime Minister has told me that the bill will definitely be brought before Parliament in the next session," the RLD leader told reporters here.

He also said that the Prime Minister assured him that he would ask Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to hold consultations on the amendment bill after the RLD delegation pointed out many lacunae in the existing amendment bill of the government.

The RLD chief said there are "many loopholes" in the government bill including definition of "public purpose" that can be misused and hence consultations are required.

Asked whether he apprehends that the bill may not be passed in Parliament as UPA ally Trinamool Congress is opposed to it, Singh said in a lighter vein that "elections will be over in West Bengal today. So this problem should not remain now."

He also told the Prime Minister that party MP Jayant Chaudhary will be moving a private member bill on the same subject in the next session of Parliament.

Congress MP Jagdambika Pal, who met the Prime Minister separately over the same issue, said, "The Prime Minister expressed sorrow and concern at the incident (violence in Noida over land acquisition)." Attacking Mayawati government on the issue, he said five incidents of firing at farmers have taken place in Uttar Pradesh in the last over four years of BSP's rule.

"I told the Prime Minister that farmers'' precious land is being taken over for corporates at throwaway prices in Uttar Pradesh and that should be stopped," he said.

The RLD chief also said that even if the land amendment bill was passed, "this problem is not going to be solved if a government like the one headed by Mayawati comes to power in any state."

He alleged that while farmers' land is being bought at cheap rates, the state government is selling it at almost the double price to businessmen and "black money is also reaching Mayawati."

PTI

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