The Centre on Friday re-promulgated the land acquisition ordinance, barely a few hours after the BJP announced nationwide rallies from May 6 to drum up support for the contentious bill, stonewalled by the Congress-led opposition in Rajya Sabha.
President Pranab Mukherjee signed the ordinance just a day before the earlier ordinance, promulgated in January, lapses on April 4.
The government has pushed the land bill by saying reforms are needed to kickstart industries stalled due to want of land, but it has so far failed to convince an unrelenting opposition that the changes envisaged in the law are not anti-farmer.
The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015 was recently passed by the Lok Sabha but is stalled in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling alliance does not have the requisite strength.
Earlier in the day, the BJP’s national executive, which is meeting in Bengaluru, decided to take the issue to the people through a series of rallies across the country.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari will kickstart the programme with a rally in Ranchi, the capital of BJP-ruled Jharkhand, it was announced.
The national executive meeting is expected to discuss the issue of the land bill threadbare and draw up a comprehensive plan to counter the Congress’ branding of it as anti-farmer.
Addressing the meeting, party president Amit Shah targeted the Congress and asked the opposition not to try and find any shortcomings in the BJP as there are none.
Shah gave a thumbs-up to the NDA government’s policies, saying the economy “is looking up” and initiatives like e-auction have been successful.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar also stressed that the “BJP is a friend of farmers.”
“It's a party of farmers, led by farmers. We worked for farmers and shall continue to do so,” Javadekar said.