Rahul on land bill: Govt 'threatened, shouted, then ran off'

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 04, 2015 19:31 IST
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Parliament House, ongoing Monsoon session in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Hitting out at the NDA government over its stand on land bill, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday it "ran off" after "threatening" and shouting" in the face of resistance.

His remarks came a day after the Joint Committee of Parliament headed by BJP parliamentarian SS Ahluwalia approved changes in the Narendra Modi government's land bill, including on the consent clause, that will restore the UPA law.

The Congress leader also said his party will keep up pressure on the Centre over the resignation of top BJP leaders in connection with the Lalit Modi controversy.

The Congress has triggered uproar in Parliament in the ongoing monsoon session, demanding the resignation of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for allegedly helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi get UK travel documents.

The Opposition has also demanded the ouster of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the multi-crore Vyapam scandal.

"On the land issue, Congress stood in front of them. They (government) shouted, made too much noise, threatened and later made a U-turn and ran off."

"Similarly, on the issue of corruption, Vyapam, on the issue of Rajasthan chief minister and Sushma Swaraj, we will not minimise the pressure on them even if they throw us out of Parliament or do not let us enter Parliament," Gandhi said.

In a fresh assault on the government, Gandhi made the remarks while agitating with party MPs in Parliament House complex in protest against suspension of its 25 members from Lok Sabha. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan cracked whip on the Congress MPs for not letting the House function.

Gandhi said the Congress will 'gherao' the government on the contentious issues in the entire country.

Reacting to Gandhi's remarks, rural development minister Birender Singh said: "Those who stand at 44 (seats) will speak only this language".

The Congress was reduced to its least tally of 44 seats in Lok Sabha -- its lowest ever tally -- in the last general elections.

The barbs from both sides came as the government expressed readiness to accept recommendations of the panel on land, which restored provisions of the Congress-led UPA regime. The government, howevber, has insisted that it was not a climbdown as it was always open to changes on which there is consensus.

All 11 BJP members moved amendments in Joint Committee of Parliament seeking to bring back key provisions of UPA's land law including on consent clause and social impact assessment by dropping the changes brought by the NDA government in December last year and subsequently revalidated by Ordinance thrice.

"What will be our stand will be known only after August 7. It all depends on what report the Joint Committee gives and whether whether there has been a consensus in the report of the joint committee or dissent notes were given," Singh said in New Delhi.

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