Congress on Thursday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of using “tyranny of majority” in Lok Sabha to “muzzle democratic dissent” over the controversial land acquisition bill.
“He is using tyranny of majority in Lok Sabha to stifle…, muzzling democratic dissent. He cannot obliterate the voice of minority expressed by the opposition,” Congress spokesman Randip Surjewala, who was made in-charge of the AICC Media Department, told reporters in New Delhi. His reaction came close on the heels of the Prime Minister’s remarks at Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh in which he criticised the opposition for creating hurdles in the passage of the measure in Rajya Sabha, where the NDA government does not have a majority.
Asserting that the land bill is not anti-farmer, Modi said, “The law that was passed by earlier government has no provision for allotment of land for schools, hospitals, houses, water and irrigation. I ask you whether you need all these facilities or not.” Modi said that he had asked the opposition to suggest ways to improve the land bill, but it did not respond.
The controversial bill will come up for consideration in Lok Sabha on Monday with the government planning to bring some amendments to reach out to allies, the opposition and farmer bodies and take their concerns on board. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the government is willing to take the constructive and meaningful suggestions of the opposition on the land bill. It will incorporate them while moving the bill for passing.
The government is reportedly planning to come forward with some amendments which aim at addressing these concerns. It has, however, made it clear that the amendments do not propose a change in the core of bill to replace the ordinance. Apparently due to the “anti-farmer” pitch of the opposition, several Union ministers have also been asked to reach out to parties and hold informal consultations that have already begun. The consultations are expected to continue throughout the week before a discussion on the bill begins in Lok Sabha next week.