Congress has private agenda in opposing land bill: BJP

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) The BJP on Wednesday said it was ready for all changes in land acquisition bill but the Congress was shying away from a debate as it had a private and hidden agenda on the issue.

“Land Bill is an issue which effects the farmers. It is an emotional issue for them. All considerations vis-a-vis farmers, landless labourers and tribals should be incorporated if any amendment is made in it, and therefore, we are open to all changes,” Bharatiya Janata Party’s spokesperson for economic issues Gopal Krishna Agarwal told IANS.

Agarwal accused the Congress of behaving in an irresponsible manner on the land bill.

“The Congress stand on the land bill is very irresponsible. They have acquired lakhs and lakhs of acres of lands from farmers for special economic zone, which has nothing to do with infrastructure, development or manufacturing. They took the land and provided it to the private sector for real estate development,” Agarwal alleged.

He said the Congress opposition to the land bill was only due to political considerations.

“They just want to stall parliament. They don’t want economic development to take place. We know they have a private and hidden agenda,” the BJP leader added.

Agarwal further said the government’s position on the bill was very clear and it was open to a debate on any forum.

“The government tried to strike a consensus on different platforms. Whether it is NITI (National Institution for Transformation of India) Aayog or Joint Parliamentary Committee. The government has provided every platform to all the stakeholders and opposition parties. The land bill brought by the NDA government was based on consensus and the opinions of all opposition parties, including chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, were incorporated,” he said.

“Nobody can say that discussion was not held; but still the Congress is opposing it. This opposition is merely based on political considerations,” Agarwal said.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, which has been brought by the NDA government, is being opposed by the Congress and other parties.

The bill is currently with a joint committee of parliament headed by BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia for detailed discussion.

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