Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has reiterated his opposition to the Land Acquisition Bill and also warned that the recently implemented ban on beef will be detrimental to the rural economy.
Pawar questioned the very need of amending the bill, which was drafted by the committee headed by him in 2013. “We had incorporated all the suggestions offered by Opposition leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and unanimously passed the bill. What was the need to amend the bill?” said Pawar.
He outlined his opposition to four main points – deletion of the consent and social assessment clauses, acquisition of fertile land, dilution of the provision of five years to return unused acquired land, as well as the compensation clause. “The government can bulldoze the bill’s passage in the Lok Sabha, considering its brute majority, but will face the hurdle in the Rajya Sabha. We will oppose it there,” said Pawar. He said though the government has the option of convening a joint session of both the Houses, there is opposition from the BJP leaders.
Pawar was also critical of Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, who has been appointed by the government to coordinate with Opposition parties to secure the passage of the bill in the Parliament. “It seems Gadkari has got a brief to ensure the passage of the bill anyhow. Gadkari wrote a letter to all Opposition leaders asking if they don’t desire development and water for the farmers, which only points towards arrogance,” said Pawar.
Pawar said cow slaughter was already banned decades ago and now, even its progeny has been added to the list. “The rural economy will be disturbed. Since the farmers will not be able to take care of his cattle, they will abandon them and the result will be chaos,” said Pawar. He also expressed concern that milk
production will be hit as people will start slaughtering buffaloes, which is permitted.