New Delhi, May 29: The Land Acquisition Bill of the NDA government is the same as the one passed by the previous UPA dispensation except for a few improvements, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today even as he accused Congress of spreading propaganda against the proposed legislation.
Claiming that the amendments which have been brought in are intended to help provide housing for the poor and infrastructure in rural areas, the Union Transport Minister asked whether doing so was being "pro-corporate" and "anti- poor".
"The party (Congress) is trying to confuse people as it cannot convince them (farmers). The Act is content-to-content same as that passed by the UPA. We only bought four-five improvements," he said at a function here.
He said that the amendments in the Act include exemption from the consent clause and social economic impact assessment in cases where land is being acquired for defence projects, providing rural infrastructure and basic facilities to villages such as schools, hospitals and roads, building affordable housing for the poor and for irrigation purposes.
"If we are amending the Act for providing low-cost housing to the poor, how does that make it pro-corporate or if we want to take water to villages by constructing dams, does it become anti-poor," the minister asked.
Attacking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign visits, Gadkari said he is at least working for the nation unlike "the leaders (Rahul) who disappear for two months without anyone's knowledge".
"There are some leaders who disappear for two months and nobody knows where they are, neither their party workers nor their family members. Such people are raising questions about the prime minister's tours across the world," he said.