The Modi government is confident of getting the support of the BJP’s biggest ally, the Shiv Sena, when it plans to introduce a new land bill in Parliament in the second half of the budget session that starts on April 20, a senior minister said on Wednesday.
The BJP is also negotiating with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party and is hopeful of getting their support as it tries to outmanoeuvre the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling combine is in a minority.
“There are indications that they (SP and BSP) would not oppose the bill. We are negotiating with them to secure further support,” said the minister.
Five senior ministers—Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj—are talking to different parties to garner support for the bill, which the government says is in interest of farmers.
“Sena is on board,” said a senior BJP minister involved in negotiations with alliance partners.
The Centre plans to bring another ordinance on land law as the existing one expires on April 6. The bill makes significant changes to the UPA’s land acquisition act, including the removal of a consent clause.
In the first half of the budget session, the government managed to pass the land bill in Lok Sabha but could not bring it in the Upper House due to stiff opposition. During the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha, the Shiv Sena staged a walk out.
Getting the Sena on board showcases the NDA’s unity as it prepares to take on a stiff opposition onslaught from the Congress and Left. The party’s backing is also important in the event of a joint session.