Amidst continuing row in Parliament over the land bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implied that the UPA's version of the legislation was adopted in a hurry and that the BJP was also guilty of supporting it.
"You should understand its history. The land acquisition bill is being considered after 120 years. Whether even 120 hours were devoted to consider such an old legislation? It was not. It is not that the only Congress party is responsible for it. We as BJP are also responsible because we had supported it," he said.
"Elections were approaching and the (Parliament) session had to be completed. That is why the decision was taken in a hurry. Later, every state realised it is a big problem.
"After I had formed the government, almost all Chief Ministers told me only one thing--that the land acquisition bill needs to be corrected. Otherwise, we will be nowhere. I have their letters also," he told Dainik Jagran in an interview published on Monday.
He was responding to a question on Congress being aggressive on the land bill and that "there appears to be some deficiency", apparently on the government's part.
Modi accused vested interests of creating confusion over the changes in the land bill.
He said there has been difficulty as vested political interests were spreading the myth that the proposed legislation favoured corporates.
"The fact is that we have not made even a minor change in the provisions of the 2013 law relating to land for corporates. In amending the law, we are not giving any land to the corporates. Nor is there any intention to do so" the Prime Minister said.
He added not a single amendment in the proposed bill would help corporates get even an inch of land. "This (allegation favouring corporates) is a whole lie but it is being propagated," he said.
"The changes in the land law is not an agenda either of the BJP or my government. Almost all state governments had requested for changes in the legislation," Modi said.
Asked about the difficulty being faced by the government in passing legislations in Rajya Sabha, where BJP is in minority, Modi said that the Upper House should respect the decision supported in the Lok Sabha to further the matters of nation's interest.
As far as functioning of Parliament is concerned, he said being in power the government's role should be to take everybody along. This is the reason that 40 bills have been passed in Parliament, Modi said.
On the issue of tackling black money, the Prime Minister said a deterrent legislation that will enhance the possibility of bringing back the ill-gotten money stashed abroad was being made. "In future, people will be afraid of amassing such wealth," he said.
Asked if statements by some of his colleagues would not hurt him and the party, he acknowledged that such comments harmed the country.
"People making such kind of remarks should refrain from making such comments. People should also not pay any attention to them, Modi said.
On his meetings with representatives of minority communities, the Prime Minister said there is no politics or any strategy behind it.
"It is my responsibility that I should meet every section of the society to listen to them and understand them. Their suggestions should be looked into and I will continue to do this exercise," he said.
On the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said although the two parties were like north and south poles, they have come together to pursue the agenda of development in the state.
"Like any other state of India, Jammu and Kashmir should also develop. Efforts should be made that youngsters get employment opportunities and tourists start coming to the state like earlier days," he said.
To a question on the forthcoming Assembly elections in Bihar, he said the people have given their support to BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and expressed confidence that this trend will continue.
Asked about exclusion of Pakistan from his tour of the neighbourhood so far, he said the only expectation he has from Pakistan is that it should follow the path of peace and non-violence.
"There is no other hitch. The path of violence is not beneficial either for them or for us," Modi said.