Congress, the principal opposition party, upped the ante on the land acquisition ordinance demanding a complete withdrawal of the new amendments as the government called for a meeting with Opposition leaders on Monday in a bid to push the land bill in Lok Sabha this week.
Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu and finance minister Arun Jaitley are expected to meet senior Opposition leaders at 10 am on Monday to negotiate on the contentious land law.
The government, according to sources, is also working on further amendments to dilute some provisions of the ordinance to placate its allies and the Opposition.
Parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu spoke to CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, a key Opposition strategist against the land bill, on Sunday evening. Yechury reportedly asked for concrete proposals from the government to discuss with the party and asked Naidu to call an all-party meet.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told HT, “There is no possibility of any compromise. We want a kanoon-wapsi. The new law must be revoked in its entirety.”
The Rajya Sabha this week is set to see some confrontation over the Insurance Laws (amendment) Bill that aims to hike foreign investment in the sector to 49% from the current 26%.
Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, which has 7 MPs in the Upper House, has already submitted a list of demands to the NDA leadership. “Those who lose land must be made partners in the economic projects, which would come up in the acquired land. We demanded more clarity on the definition of ‘national security’ in respect of land acquisition,” said BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab.
Meanwhile, the government has circulated an amendment to the land bill on Saturday which deletes the definition of “private entities” in the bill thereby expanding the scope of acquisition for different private projects.