Putting up a strong defence of the bill to amend the land acquisition ordinance in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the law would stay and his government was willing to re-work any provision which was detrimental to farmers’ interest.
Replying to a motion of thanks to President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech to a joint session of Parliament on February 23, Modi said land had to be acquired to give a boost to national economic activity.
“The law will stay, we will remove the shortcomings. I urge you to help us, and together, we can take India’s development ahead. We need to protect farmers’ interests together. Please don’t spread lies on compensation. Compensation has not been reduced in the amended bill. We need to carry on with economic activity, to set up industries etc. Under the current law, it is difficult to acquire land,” Modi said.
The PM also took a dig at the Opposition on the black money issue. “It’s an issue which till sometime back no party wanted to speak about… If the SIT on black money had been set up during the UPA regime, illegal transactions would have stopped by now. The SIT was not set up then in order to protect some people,” he said.
The PM’s reply saw repeated disruptions with Opposition members objecting to his criticism of the UPA regime’s performance.
On the charge of Congress leader Anand Sharma that NDA government was repackaging old schemes, Modi said, “I said it in Lok Sabha and I am repeating it here, the projects are new but the issues they are meant to tackle are old.”