Land acquisition bill introduced in Lok Sabha
New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The government on Monday introduced the controversial land acquisition bill in the Lok Sabha amid a huge uproar by the opposition.
All major opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, staged a walkout in protest over the introduction of the bill.
Some members were also seen holding placards against the bill.
Introducing the bill, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said since the new ordinance was promulgated in April, “it is important that we put the ordinance before the house”.
Almost all opposition parties opposed the new bill.
Congress leader of the house Mallikarjun Kharge said: “The bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha. Where is the bill, we don’t know. In this situation, the bill which is alive… why are efforts being made to kill it?”
He alleged that the government was trying to impose the bill on the people. “We will not tolerate this. This bill is only for capitalists and corporates.”
Biju Janata Dal member B. Mehtab said: “We are opposed to the introduction of the bill. What was the need to re-introduce a bill which was passed by this very house.”
Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress also opposed the bill, citing constitutional grounds.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the introduction of the bill as it was a fresh bill and was in no way “identical” to the bill which was already pending.
“There is no rule which bars introduction of a bill, while a bill on the same subject passed by the Lok Sabha is pending in the Rajya Sabha,” Mahajan said in her ruling.
She said “there is no bill identical to the one being proposed that is pending” and put the introduction of the bill for voting by the house.
In between, Mahajan tried to pacify the protesting members and said she would not be able to listen if they kept on shouting.
But as the noisy protests continued, she put the motion for introducing the bill to vote.
Intervening in the discussion before introduction of the bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “You (opposition) have a right to oppose, but you should not accuse the government of supporting corporates. We wanted to take the parliament into confidence as we had made changes accordingly.”
“This is a pro-farmer legislation,” he claimed.
The bill, which seeks to replace an ordinance, was passed by the Lok Sabha in the earlier part of the budget session in February but was pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha was, however, prorogued in March.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2015, seeks to replace an ordinance re-promulgated in April which had amended certain provisions of the 2013 act passed during the Congress-led UPA rule.
The key points, which were removed from the earlier law, related to the consent clause and the social impact assessment study.