Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday responded to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s letter on the land bill, alleging that the UPA government’s policies had resulted in unemployment and farmer suicides.
He said that not a single acre of land was acquired under the land acquisition law brought out by the UPA for irrigation and rural and social infrastructure projects, and that farmers remained dependent on rains all the time.
Sonia had earlier written to Gadkari rejecting his offer for a dialogue, saying it was a “mockery” as the BJP regime had unilaterally imposed the land ordinance. Dubbing the bill as anti-farmer, she accused the government of “bending over backwards” to favour industrialists.
“The UPA government willingly created a system in which big land acquisition projects were out of the assessment while welfare projects run by state governments were mired in it,” he alleged.
“Under your land law, government and private firms which are allocated coal blocks can acquire thousands of acres of land without social impact assessment but states would have to go through this complex exercise if they need one acre of land for a school, hospital or road…The Maharashtra CM from your party had then sought that such a bill be studied by a group of chief ministers. But the UPA did not find it appropriate to evolve a consensus among its own CMs,” Gadkari said in his letter.
The amendments brought out by the Modi government were in line with the suggestions made by chief ministers during a consultation exercise on June 27, 2014, he said.