New Delhi, Mar 19: Congress on Thursday took a jibe at the government over Union Minister Nitin Gadkari writing a letter to Opposition parties including Sonia Gandhi to debate land acquisition bill asking "why this sudden wisdom has dawned" on them and whether BJP was facing "jitters".
Party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar accused the Centre of "hoodwinking" people through such "diversionary" tactics. Kumar also said that the Congress President has "not got the letter so far" and that it is "strange that except the recipient every one else has already got the letter".
"BJP and Nitin Gadkari should stop hoodwinking and attempting diversionary tactics to dilute the agony, pain and outrage among the entire farming community by Modi government's sinister attempt to kill the soul and spirit of Right to Fair Compensation, 2013. ...If Prime Minister Modi and BJP are sincere, they should first withdraw the Land Acquisition Ordinance and apologise to the entire farming community," the party said in a press release posing half a dozen questions to the NDA government.
To rub it on the government further, the statement also referred to earlier reports of Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh not being in favour of the ordinance, a contention, which was denied by him later. "Why is the Rural Development Minister mum on the issue and why has Gadkari become his spokesperson," it said.
The party asked whether Modi and Gadkari to answer as to why did the BJP unanimously support Right to Fair Compensation Act, 2013 inside and outside Parliament nine months ago and why did they proceed to kill the same law within six months of coming to power even before it could be implemented.
"Will Modi and Gadkari answer as to why did they use the tyranny of majority in Lok Sabha to forcibly pass the Land Acquisition Ordinance despite nation-wide protests and public outrage," it said. The party also questioned as to why should complete political unanimity built painstakingly by discussion with all stakeholders, states and Parliament by Congress party over a period of two years was "undone in a whimsical fashion" by Modi to support a few "crony capitalists".
"Will Modi and Gadkari answer as to whether the BJP is facing the jitters on account of the hoax and farce of Land Acquisition Ordinance having been called off by the complete Opposition unity led by Congress President," it said.
Amid clear indications that the government's attempt to change the law will face strong hurdles, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to address farmers' rally in the national capital on April 5. She is also visiting Haryana and Rajasthan on May tomorrow and the day after to meet farmers, whose crops have been damaged due to hailstorm, and unseasonal rains.