The Congress, busy fighting the BJP on the land acquisition ordinance, found its senior leader Jairam Ramesh taking digs at his former ministerial colleague P Chidambaram over land laws.
Former rural development minister Ramesh said in an interview that the former finance minister had taken a U-turn on land acquisition laws in his newspaper column.
Chidambaram hit back: “Ramesh should read that article before he finds fault. I support that UPA’s land Act and oppose the NDA’s Ordinance, with some minor reservations.”
In an interview to Scroll.in, Ramesh claimed Chidambaram, as minister, wanted more power for the government to acquire land but now he opposes the Ordinance that gives such powers.
When asked what were his colleagues’ arguments, Ramesh replied, “The government must have eminent power. Coal India would get stalled. Railway project will get stalled. The same arguments that Mr Jaitley is giving were given by Mr Chidambaram.”
“It’s interesting that Mr Chidambaram wrote a column against the ordinance calling it “anti-farmer”, “anti-people”, now that he’s no longer the finance minister,” Ramesh added.
Chidambaram told HT that he stood by the views expressed in the column saying, “We did not agree to some over the board provisions. That’s why PM constituted a GoM and a balanced and reasonable draft (bill) was produced.”
Ramesh, however, didn’t attach much importance to Chidambaram: “He is irrelevant now. He is no longer the finance minister,” he addded.