New Delhi, Apr 27: Government will push for the passage of land bill in this session notwithstanding the opposition to it by many parties, a Union Minister said on Monday, April 27, but remained non-committal on its passage.
He dismissed as mere "propaganda" the reports that Government may delay pushing the bill for passage in Parliament following suicide by farmer Gajendra Singh at AAP rally of AAP here.
The minister reeled out figures to show that the suicide by farmers has been "continuing" during the 10 years of UPA rule. [Farmer suicide: A political stunt gone wrong?]
Quoting from media reports purportedly based on figures given by National Crime Records Bureau, the minister said while the land ordinance by the NDA government was brought as late as in December 2014 and "UPA's so-called great bill" had already came in 2013.
"Why 11,772 farmers ended their lives in India in 2013", "why a total of 2 lakh 97 thousand 56 farmers killed themselves in India since 1995".
Giving a clear indication that the government was not going to budge from its stated position on the bill, the minister said since the NDA government has come to power only 10 months ago, "obviously our programmes and policies cannot be held responsible for the suicide of farmers going on or such a long period."
Talking to reporters separately, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu wondered "how can you connect Singh's suicide with land bill?"
He gave a clear indication that the government will seek to counter aggressively the Opposition charge of the bill being "anti-farmer" in Parliament, when the bill comes up for discussion and passage in the first week of May.
"We are on a very firm footing on the land bill. Opposition feels that it is a 'Mrit Sanjeevani' (liquid which could bring back life). So they are opposing it. This is a political opposition. We want to take the land bill forward. If Congress wants to look at it as 'sanjeevani' for them at the cost of the nation, let them do it and let people see it," Naidu said.
Asked how confident he was about the passage of the land bill, Naidu remained non-committal saying,"let Parliament take a call."