Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has batted for allowing states to frame their own land laws. Chouhan’s comments come amid the intense political debate over existing land laws and the NDA government’s failed attempts to push major amendments to the UPA’s land law.
The CM also pitched for an early clearance on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, accusing the Congress for taking a u-turn on the bill. “There is a political consensus on the bill but now the Congress is opposing it out of political reasons,” he said.
Participating in HT Unplugged, Chouhan asserted that states need land for development. “If there is no national consensus on the land bill, leave it to the states to frame their own laws, keeping in mind the state’s own requirements,” he said.
“We have a good policy where we return a part of the developed land to land owners. Land is required for developmental projects. But farmers need to be given the correct price and their livelihood should also be secured,” he said.
When asked about the allegations of increasing intolerance, Chouhan categorically stated: “As far as BJP or the prime minister or myself are concerned, we are clear that India has been a country where different religions or ideologies always found respect. We believe that the world is a family. Our core ideology is to take everyone along with us. This is BJP’s ideology, this is also my ideology. We always talk about ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’.”
Chouhan also tried to strongly defend his government over the alleged Vyapam scam, pointing out that he was the first to find the irregularities and then ordered a probe.
“It was not the Congress or the media, but I as the chief minister who identified corrupt practices in the system. When I got the information about corruption in PMT exams, we arrested the culprits and asked the Special Task Force to probe the entire issue. The STF uncovered the scam racket. Even as the high court and the Supreme Court said there was no need for a CBI probe, I sought a court-monitored CBI investigation into the scandal,” Chauhan said.
He, however, argued that out of 1.06 crore people who had applied for jobs, only around 1,600 appointments were found to be irregular. “It is less than 0.1% of the total appointments,” said Chouhan.
Attacking his political opponents, Chouhan said: “They can’t take me on in the political field. So, they are resorting to false charges to counter me.”