Land acquisition bill introduced in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, May 11: The government on Monday introduced the controversial land acquisition bill in the Lok Sabha amid a huge uproar by the opposition.

All major opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party staged a walkout in protest over the introduction of the bill.

land acquisition

The bill, which seeks to replace an ordinance, was passed by the Lok Sabha in the earlier part of the budget session in February but was pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The Rajya Sabha was, however, prorogued in March.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2015, seeks to replace an ordinance re-promulgated in April which had amended certain provisions of the 2013 act passed during the UPA rule.

The key points, which were removed from the earlier law, related to the consent clause and the social impact assessment study.

Introducing the bill, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said since the new ordinance was promulgated in April, "it was important that we put the ordinance before the house".

Almost all opposition parties, including the Congress and Trinamool Congress, opposed the new bill.

Congress leader of the house Mallikarjun Kharge said: "The bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha. Where is the bill we don't know. In this situation, the bill which is alive...why are efforts being made to kill it".

He alleged that the government was trying to impose the bill on the people. "We will not tolerate this. This bill is only for capitalists and corporates".

Biju Janata Dal member B. Mehtab said: "We are opposed to the introduction of the bill. What was the need to re-introduce a bill which was passed by this very house".

Trinamool Congress' Saugata Roy also opposed the bill citing constitutional grounds.

Intervening in the discussion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: "You (opposition) have a right to oppose, but you should not accuse the government of supporting corporates. We wanted to take the parliament into confidence as we had made changes accordingly".

"This is a pro-farmer legislation," he claimed.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the introduction of the bill as it was a fresh bill and was in no way "identical" to the bill which was already pending.

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