Modi's govt will push land bill ‘at any cost’ to avoid hurting image

  • Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2015 13:41 IST

The government seems determined to push the contentious land bill, despite strong reservations from the Opposition which has signalled greater unity between themselves after a farmer committed suicide in the heart of Delhi on Wednesday.

Top government sources told HT that the land bill would not be junked, ‘at any cost’, and it will be taken up for discussion and passage in the current session.

The government has majority in the Lok Sabha, where the bill may come up for passage between May 5 and 8.

But it is short on numbers in the Rajya Sabha and senior ministers claim they have a ‘plan’ if the bill gets stuck in the Upper House.

“We do not share our strategy with the media. We know our limitations in the Rajya Sabha and we have a plan ready,” a minister said.

Another minister told HT that the government was of the view that it should not push the pause button on the land bill. Else, he said, it would not only put the government’s reform agenda in serious jeopardy but also hurt the Centre’s image.

Sources said the government was considering a joint session to push the bill they claim as crucial to revive growth and generate employment.

“We cannot afford to tell the nation and its youth that sorry we cannot create jobs because we could not pass the land bill. People want results and not excuses,” the minister said.

The BJP also came out with a “factsheet” on the bill to counter, point-by-point, Congress’ accusations that the amendment was pro-corporate and anti-farmer.

Video: Need to introspect and find solutions: PM Modi on farmer's suicide

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